Steelers' Le'Veon Bell negotiations reportedly expected to go down to the wire
The Steelers used the franchise tag on their star running back for the second consecutive year
There's not much time left this year for the Pittsburgh Steelers and star running back Le'Veon Bell to reach a long-term deal. The Steelers franchise-tagged Bell back in March, and they only have until Monday to come to a multi-year agreement or else Bell has to play out the season on a one-year contract.
Don't expect to hear anything about a deal before sometime Monday. According to a report from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, the Steelers' negotiations with Bell will go right down to the wire, just as they did a year ago.
The Steelers and their star back were ultimately unable to reach a long-term deal a year ago, and Bell eventually played the 2017 season on the tag. They negotiated again during the early part of this offseason but did not reach a deal, so the Steelers franchise-tagged Bell again. He's set to make $14,544,000 during the 2018 season.
Bell reportedly wants around $17 million per year on a multi-year pact and ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler recently reported that Bell and the Steelers had "made significant progress" on a possible extension, with Bell telling Fowler, "We are a lot closer than we were last year."
"The bottom line with the Steelers is that, except for quarterbacks, they aren't going to guarantee massive amounts at signing and spread those guarantees three or more years out. And while one could clearly make the argument that Bell is just as important to this offensive juggernaut as Ben Roethlisberger or Antonio Brown, that receiver stigma, and Bell's off-field issues, in the end, will preclude him from securing a landmark pact from the Steelers by the July 16 deadline."
There are less than two days left for Bell and the Steelers to prove him wrong.
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