The Pittsburgh Steelers seem intent on placing the franchise tag on Le’Veon Bell for a second consecutive year should the two sides not come to terms on a long-term contract before March.
For his part, Bell had previously threatened to either hold out all of next season or retire rather than play under the dreaded tag (more on that here).
It now looks like things might be on the up and up between the two sides. Bell told Mark Kaboly of The Athletic (h/t Pro Football Talk) that he has already received a contract offer from the team.
Meanwhile, the star running back also told reporters at the Pro Bowl in Orlando that the two sides are in a “good spot” when it comes to contract talks.
Le’Veon Bell said from the Pro Bowl that he and Steelers are in a ‘good spot’ regarding contract talks. Both sides already have been talking since season ended.
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 24, 2018
This has to be music to the ears of Steelers fans, some of whom were planning on the team being without Bell next season. Both the Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers have north of $110 million in cap room and the draft capital to make a move for Bell. Each has a potential need for a running back.
If Pittsburgh were able to somehow get long-term deal done with Bell prior to free agency, it would be a major boon for the team.
Bell, 25, has put up 3,830 total yards and 20 touchdowns in 27 games over the past two seasons. He remains the most dynamic running back in the game, and it’s not necessarily that close.