Published: Tue, July 18, 2017
Sport | By Ellis Neal

Steelers Unable To Agree Upon Long-Term Deal With Le'Veon Bell

Steelers Unable To Agree Upon Long-Term Deal With Le'Veon Bell

The 4 p.m. EST deadline for franchise players to agree to a long-term deal with their teams has come and gone, and Le'Veon Bell and the Steelers only have one way to proceed.

Both sides have valid points in this conflict. "Le'Veon is scheduled to play this year under the Exclusive Franchise Tag designation".

Pittsburgh placed the franchise tag on Bell in March.

Without a long-term deal, Bell could hold out of training camp. In fact, it's entirely possible Bell could stay away from the team until mid-to-late August. He will be a free agent in 2018, unless the Steelers again wield the franchise tag.

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.

That being said, Bell has been a productive member of the Steelers when he is on the field. "We will resume our efforts to address his contract situation following the 2017 season". He set franchise records with 4,166 and 4,917 yards the past two seasons. Bell's 157 total yards per game last season ranks third all time for a running back. Bell's patient, pause-at-the-line running style has become his trademark and has caught the attention of many tailback peers around the league.

Those forthcoming accounting expenditures and others aside, the Steelers still should have plenty of salary cap space needed to sign defensive end Stephon Tuitt to a new lucrative long-term contract extension prior to the start of the regular season.

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