Adam Schefter of ESPN, citing sources from around the league, reports that the Steelers are expected to use their franchise tag on RB Le’Veon Bell next year at the cost of $12.377 million.
From there, Schefter says that Pittsburgh will try to work out a long-term contract extension with Bell that will likely leave Bell among the highest-paid running backs in the NFL when all is said and done.
The Steelers have a long-standing policy of not negotiating with players during the season, so there won’t be any contract discussions until after their season is over.
In the end, Schefter anticipates the two parties eventually getting an agreement in place.
Bell, 24, is a former second-round pick of the Steelers back in 2013. He’s currently in the final year of his four-year, $4,120,600 rookie contract that included a $1,376,800 signing bonus and stands to make a base salary of $966,900 in 2016.
Bell wound up missing the first two games of the season due to a suspension before later sustained a season-ending injury.
In 2016, Bell appeared in 10 games and running for 1,053 yards on 218 carries (4.8 YPC) to go along with 67 receptions for 563 yards receiving and three seven touchdowns.
We have him featured in our Top 30 – 2017 Free Agents list.