Steelers tag RB Bell
- Author: Regina Holmes Feb 28, 2017,
Feb 28, 2017, 0:46
This isn't breaking news of any kind, but the Pittsburgh Steelers have placed the franchise tag on All-Pro running back Le'Veon Bell.
He can become a free agent following the 2017 season, but both Brown and the Steelers have expressed interest in striking a long-term deal.
Bell, 25, rushed for 1,268 yards and caught 75 passes for 616 yards in 12 games during the 2016 season and was the team's 2016 MVP.
But he left the team's AFC Championship loss at New England in the first quarter with a groin injury that general manager Kevin Colbert said two weeks ago has been diagnosed as a sports hernia.
The Steelers have made re-signing Brown, who is in the final year of a six-year, $43 million contract, an immediate priority.
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As things now stand, Brown is set to make $4.71 million in base salary in 2017, per Spotrac.
Le'Veon Bell can only play for the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2017.
The Steelers stood by Bell during his suspensions in part because of his work ethic, and Bell validated that faith with a monster year.
Bell has missed five games because of suspensions in the past two seasons for violations of the National Football League drug policy and also has ended each of the past three seasons injured. The four-year veteran had an outstanding season in 2016. The exclusive tag means he can not negotiate with any other team. Based on a $165 million salary cap, those percentages equate to a franchise tender of $11.97 million and a transition tender of $9.72 million.