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Le’Veon Bell Officially Signs Franchise Tender

The Pittsburgh Steelers announced Monday that RB Le’Veon Bell has officially signed his franchise tender.

The Steelers and Bell were unable to get a long-term extension in place before this year’s deadline to negotiate with franchise players and a few reports have said that he ultimately turned down a five-year contract worth $60 million with $30 million being paid in the first two years of the agreement.

Even so, the Steelers have said that they plan to pick up contract talks with Bell next year.

The franchise tag will run the Steelers around $12.3 million fully guaranteed for the 2017 season.

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.