It’s pretty much the exact same story we’ve heard the past two years but according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, there has been some measure of progress between Le’Veon Bell and the Pittsburgh Steelers. Each side is looking to hammer out a long-term deal, made difficult by a deflated RB market compared to Bell’s top talent.
Here’s what Rapoport tweeted out a short time ago.
Much of the focus for Monday will be on #Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell once again. There has been some progress, but it sounds like this one may come down to the wire — just like last year. It got close. Time will tell if they can push it over the line.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 14, 2018
It’s widely assumed that if a deal isn’t reached by 4 PM Monday, 2018 will be Bell’s final season as a Steeler.
Bell has previously told ESPN he won’t accept an average yearly value below his $14.5 million franchise tag. That’s about the only concrete info we know about his demands. The Steelers reportedly offered a deal worth north of $13 million per year, which his agent accepted but Bell declined.
Of course, there’s so much more to a deal than just average yearly value. The guaranteed money could be a hang-up if the Steelers aren’t offering Bell a big enough signing bonus. Either way, we’ll get our answer in almost exactly 48 hours. And if a deal does break, we’ll fill you in on all the details.