The deadline for the Pittsburgh Steelers to sign running back Le’Veon Bell to a long-term contract extension is almost 24 hours away and while anything can certainly happen between now and Monday’s 4PM EST cutoff, it doesn’t appear as though the two sides are close to a deal at the time of this post.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN on Sunday, Bell is one of three players still wearing the franchise tag who are not close to consummating new long-term contract extensions with their respective teams. Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins and Los Angeles Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson are the two other players.
With Monday’s 4 pm deadline to sign franchise players looming, no deals close for Kirk Cousins, Le’Veon Bell, Trumaine Johnson at this time.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 16, 2017
Deadlines usually spur actions and so quite honestly, it’s not surprising that Bell and the Steelers have yet to work out a new long-term deal so far. However, it’s worth noting that the last time Bell’s agent, Adisa Bakari, represented a franchise tagged running back in 2012, that player, Matt Forte, ultimately signed a long-term contract extension with the Chicago Bears on the day of that year’s deadline.
Bell was issued the $12.12 million franchise tag just ahead of the start of the 2017 league year in March and has reportedly yet to sign the tender. While he has been recovering all offseason from groin surgery, Bell decided to stay away from most of the team’s offseason practices and mandatory minicamp, which wasn’t mandatory for him being as he isn’t currently under contract.
Should Bell ultimately…
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