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2018 Offseason Questions: Is Belief In A Bell Deal Realistic?

The journey toward Super Bowl LII ended far too prematurely for the Pittsburgh Steelers, sending them into offseason mode before we were ready for it. But we are in it now, and are ready to move on, through the Combine, through free agency, through the draft, into OTAs, and beyond.

We have asked and answered a lot of questions over the years and will continue to do so, and at the moment, there seem to be a ton of questions that need answering. A surprise early exit in the postseason will do that to you though, especially when it happens in the way it did.

You can rest assured that we have the questions, and we will be monitoring developments all throughout the offseason process, all the way down to Latrobe. Pending free agents, possible veteran roster cuts, contract extensions, pre-draft visits, pro days, all of it will have its place when the time arises.

Question: Is it realistic to believe that that Le’Veon Bell and the Steelers will get a contract done before the deadline?

This is not Le’Veon Bell’s first trip down this lane, and it’s certainly not for the Steelers either, though I’m not sure when the last time might be that they used the franchise tag on a player twice, as they have in this instance.

This is of course year two of the saga, and the riveting conclusion is upon us. We will know in about a week whether or not the two parties will agree to a long-term contract before the deadline expires for players given the franchise tag to negotiate multi-year deals.

The truth is that we have heard so much from second- and third-hand sources that we don’t actually know what the truth is. We have gotten numbers thrown at us from every direction, whether it’s the contract proposal the Steelers presented Bell or what Bell is looking for or what he is willing to accept. We don’t know for sure if any of that is accurate.

What we do know for sure is that a deal didn’t get done last year, and it hasn’t gotten done yet, but talks will be ramping up heading into this week as they get down to the wire. After all, deadlines tend to spur action. I know it does for me.

It’s a foolhardy, at this point, to still believe that a deal is going to be done? While it’s not assured that the Steelers and Bell will not be able to throw something together at the last minute that both can live with, that really doesn’t seem to be the more likely outcome.

Reportedly, there was a deal last year that Bell’s agent—and his mother—wanted him to sign, but he decided not to. Assuming that is true, will he take a softer stance this time if they tick the number upward just a smidge? Will ego override pragmatism if they give him the same deal, forcing him to reject it again because he already did so once?

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