Le'Veon Bell may hold out through start of camp

Ross Houston
July 18, 2017

Bell will be the NFL's highest-paid running back this year, but considering he hasn't signed his tender yet, he's not required to report for the start of training camp next week.

The franchise tag deadline came and went Monday without a long-term deal for Bell, who will play on a $12.12 million exclusive franchise tag in 2017.

Though, Bell himself has not yet signed the exclusive rights franchise tag tender Pittsburgh handed him during the spring.

Bell had surgery in March, so he ought to be ready by now. Bell returns to the lineup for the Steelers on Sunday against Kansas City.

This has obviously complicated contract negotiations between the two sides. He rushed for 1,268 yards and seven touchdowns last season, adding 75 receptions for 616 yards.

It's the second consecutive season Cousins will play on the franchise tag after he failed to agree on a long-term deal with the team by Monday's 4 p.m. deadline. "We will resume our efforts to address his contract situation following the 2017 season". Early in the offseason, general manager Kevin Colbert and team president Art Rooney II made clear publicly that Bell was a part of the long-term plans.

Bell especially shined in Week 14, when he set the franchise regular-season rushing record in a single game with 236 yards. But the NFLPA and NFL conspiring to keep many of football's best players from truly being free agents gets Bell my sympathy.

The Steelers have just hours left to sign their franchise player, Le'Veon Bell, to a new contract.

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