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Steelers, Le'Veon Bell fail to reach deal by deadline

19 July 2017

This means that Bell will play under the franchise tag tender (should he sign it) in 2017. "We will resume our efforts to address his contract situation following the 2017 season". It's going to be a tough sell with Bell since a contract averaging in the $13.5 million neighborhood doesn't reflect the state of the top portion of the running back market.

In short, Bell and his agent are betting that almost $27 million is already in the bank even without a long-term deal and that amount is just a little more than $3 million shy of what the Steelers were willing to pay him over the course of the next two. Pittsburgh would have more pressure than this offseason to reach an agreement with Bell even if there is a second franchise tag because a third one would be the highest number at any position.

Not wanting to risk losing Bell as a free agent, the Steelers placed the franchise tag on their All-Pro running back in February.

The Steelers are assured of having the most dynamic running back in the National Football League for at least one more season as they had already placed the franchise tag on him.

Bell entered the offseason with leverage to easily surpass LeSean McCoy's five-year, $40-million deal and become the tailback cash king.

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At that time, Bell will be 28-years-old, heading towards the latter part of his career, and will have a young and exciting back behind him. While injuries may have played a role in the Steelers hesitation, most running backs struggle to get long-term deals.

Bell set franchise rushing records in the first two playoff games. "I'm going to definitely enjoy my best year with the Steelers and be happy with it".

Bell, who is healthy after coming off surgery, said he doesn't need much time to get ready for the season, which indicates he's planning to sit out at least the beginning of practices and the preseason. While you might not agree with his decision to turn down the Steelers offer, hopefully you can see now why he probably did.

Monday, July 17th is an important date for the Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins.

Steelers, Le'Veon Bell fail to reach deal by deadline