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Artificial deadline passes for Steelers, Le’Veon Bell

Getty Images Last month, running back Le’Veon Bell admitted that he and the Steelers had designated February 20 as the deadline for doing a long-term deal.
As previously explained, Bell should resist any effort to sign him before he knows whether he will or won’t be tagged, because the context for negotiations can’t be fully formulated without knowing whether the tag will be used.
The question then becomes what will he trade on a long-term deal for the $14.5 million that he’ll make this year, knowing that in 2019 he’ll definitely end up on the open market, with more than $26.6 million earned for two NFL seasons?
It’s no surprise, then, that reports already are surfacing that the Steelers will tag Bell, absent a long-term deal that comes after the supposed deadline.
The prospect of one more year with Bell at $14.5 million apparently is more attractive than no more years with Bell.
For more on Bell, the franchise tag, and plenty of other topics, check out the latest PFT PM podcast.
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