It appears that Le’Veon Bell will be with the Pittsburgh Steelers next year as a long-term extension is close to being reached.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell will play at least one more game as a Steeler in the Pro Bowl on Sunday. However, Bell is confident that a long-term deal can be reached as it appears that they are close to finalizing a deal.
“We are a lot closer than we were last year,” Bell told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. “I’m happy and the Steelers are happy right now where we’re at. Obviously we have to continue to get it done.”
Bell, Steelers in 'happy' place over contract talks that started early. https://t.co/cTqTUensia
— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) January 24, 2018
Last summer the running back turned down a long-term contract extension and the Steelers placed the franchise tag on him. Pittsburgh could put the franchise tag on Bell again if a long-term deal isn’t reached. Feb. 20 would be the first day that Bell could be tagged, but the running back anticipates a deal will be done before then.
“We’ll definitely get it done before then,” he told Ray Fittipaldo of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “We can definitely do that. That’s the goal. That’s what I want to do. Both sides are still working and trying to make things work. They may have to give a little. I might have to give a little. But the biggest thing is I want to be a Steeler going into next season. That’s what I want to do. That’s what Steelers Nation wants, that’s what the coaching staff wants, that’s what my teammates want. So we have to get it done.”
Bell wouldn’t want to be tagged again because he told ESPN earlier this month that he would consider sitting out the season or retiring if an extension isn’t reached. This season he led in AFC in yards from scrimmage with 1,946 yards with 1,291 yards on the ground. He also had 11 touchdowns and earned All-Pro recognition.
Bell would be a great addition to the New York Jets as they could use a running back like him. However, it looks like he’s sticking with what he knows in Pittsburgh.