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

18 July, 2017, 00:35 | Author: Alberta Rodriguez
  • Le'Veon Bell carries the ball for the Steelers

Bell will become an unrestricted free agent at season's end, but the Steelers can work out a deal at the conclusion of the upcoming season or again can place the franchise tag on him.

Despite intense negotiations between the two sides, the gap between demand and offer was too wide to bridge.

Bell will play under the exclusive franchise tag worth $12.12 million in 2017.

As of Monday's extension deadline, Bell had also not signed his franchise tender.

Bell will be the NFL's highest-paid running back this year, but considering he hasn't signed his tender yet, he's not required to report for the start of training camp next week. Next year, he'll head towards an equally lucrative contract, but it may not be with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Next year, the Steelers can tag Bell again at around $14 million or re-sign him.

"Unfortunately, we were unable to agree to terms on a long-term contract with Le'Veon Bell prior to today's deadline", Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement. "We will resume our efforts to address his contract situation following the 2017 season". He rushed for 1,268 yards and seven touchdowns last season, adding 75 receptions for 616 yards. Bell stayed away from offseason workouts while recovering from groin surgery. Keeping Bell on the field has been the major issue, as a combination of injuries and off-field problems has caused him to miss 17 games in four seasons.

NFL Network ranked Bell the No. 9 overall player in its 2017 rankings. The Steelers begin camp July 27 in Latrobe.

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