According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Media, Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell and Rams DT Aaron Donald could both skip mandatory minicamp workouts this week, as they try to secure long-term extensions from their respective teams.
The Steelers used their franchise tag on Bell and while it’s possible a deal could get done before the July 15 deadline, Pittsburgh appears to be comfortable allowing him to play out the year under the designation. As of now, Bell has yet to sign his franchise tender worth $11.789 million fully guaranteed for the 2017 season.
Donald and the Rams have reported been negotiating a long-term extension, which is expected to be a massive contract that will leave him among the highest-paid players in the game.
Last month, Rams GM Les Snead mentioned that he’s “very hopeful” they’ll be able to reach an agreement with Donald.
“I’m very hopeful that this will get done,” Snead said. “We want him to be a Ram … I think that’s his goal [too].”
Bell, 25, is a former second-round pick of the Steelers back in 2013. He played out the final year of his four-year, $4,120,600 rookie contract that included a $1,376,800 signing bonus and was in position to be one of the best players in this year’s free agent market.
In 2016, Bell appeared in 12 games and running for 1,268 yards on 261 carries (4.9 YPC) to go along with 75 receptions for 616 yards receiving and three nine total touchdowns. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 1 running back out of 62 qualifying players.
Donald, 25, is a former first-round pick of the Rams back in 2014. He was in the final year of his four-year, $10.136 million and set to make a base salary of $1,802,250 for the 2017 season when the Rams picked up his fifth-year team option for the 2018 season.
This will run them around $6.892 million for the 2018 season, but is guaranteed only for injury and won’t prevent them from working on a long-term extension over the next year.
In 2016, Donald appeared in all 16 games for the Rams and recorded 47 tackles, eight sacks, two forced fumbles and five pass defenses.