To the surprise of pretty much nobody, the Pittsburgh Steelers have used the franchise tag to keep Le’Veon Bell from hitting free agency.
We have placed the franchise tag on RB Le'Veon Bell.
— Pittsburgh Steelers (@steelers) February 27, 2017
This means Bell is locked up for at least one year, and the Steelers could still potentially try to work out a long-term deal with him this spring. This is something the Steelers have said is a high priority, along with getting Antonio Brown locked up for the long term.
Pittsburgh has already made progress on a long-term extension with Brown, who’s set to become the highest-paid receiver in the game.
Bell is undeniably one of the best running backs in the NFL. His ability to find holes by using his vision and patience is unrivaled, and he’s equally dangerous as a receiver out of the backfield. This past season, despite playing in just 12 games, he logged 1,886 total yards and nine touchdowns.