The Pittsburgh Steelers and Le'Veon Bell were unable to agree upon a long-term deal. As a result, Bell will earn $12.1 million under the franchise tag in 2017 and become an unrestricted free agent next year. "We will resume our efforts to address his contract situation following the 2017 season". The two sides had until today at 4 p.m.to reach a long-term deal. As Bell has not signed his $12.1 million franchise tender, he is not obligated to report to training camp or any football activities.
Both sides remained quiet about the negotiations.
According to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com, Bell is recovered from offseason core muscle surgery, and should be ready to participate from the start of camp. From the Steelers' perspective, guaranteeing a huge amount to a player who's been twice suspended for violations of the league's substance abuse policy is a risk, especially since that player plays a grueling position and has already missed time due to injury.
When Bell is on the field, he is brilliant.
Bell's 157 total yards per game last season ranks third all-time for a running back.
KDKA's Bob Pompeani says Bell can be franchised again next season.
Speaking on NFL Network, Rapoport expounded on what Bell was looking for in a long-term deal. The Steelers locker room named Bell their 2016 MVP.