While the Pittsburgh Steelers have a number of players they hope to negotiate new contracts with in the coming months, none of them have a deadline on proceedings quite like Le’Veon Bell. As a franchise tagged player, a league-imposed deadline of July 15 had set a timescale for both sides to get a long-term extension done this year.
However, following the release of a league memo by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Monday, it appears the Steelers will have a little bit more time to work out a deal.
With the deadline falling on a weekend, the date has been moved to the next available week day in line with league policy.
Moving the deadline by just two days to July 17 may not seem like much of a big deal, but any extra time the two camps have to iron out the particulars of a new contract could be crucial to getting an extension done this offseason. If a deal is not in place before this new date, the Steelers will not be able to negotiate a long-term extension with Bell this season.
League rules only allow both sides to negotiate a one-year contract after the deadline and Bell would most likely sign his franchise tender soon after July 17 has passed. Set to earn $12.12 million under the terms of his tag, both sides could negotiate a one-year deal for less money, but Bell would have no incentive to do so.
As an unrestricted free agent in 2018, Bell would cost Pittsburgh $14,544,00 next year, should the front office choose to tag him once again and a similar mid-July deadline for a long-term extension.
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