NFL news: Le'Veon Bell turns down contract offer from Pittsburgh Steelers

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell in action
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell in action

Running back Le’Veon Bell heads the big names playing under the franchise tag this coming NFL season after turning down a reported $70m contract at the Pittsburgh Steelers.

One of the best dual-threats in the league, Bell has been a star of the side during his five years with the Steelers, but the two sides could not agree on a new long-term contract.

That means Bell will play under the franchise tag on a one-year contract worth $14.5m – which is ironically the annual amount he was looking for in a long-term contract.

"Even though we could not reach a long-term contract agreement with Le'Veon Bell, we are excited he will be with the team in 2018," said Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert.

"We worked very hard to find common ground, but we were unable to accomplish that prior to today's deadline. Le'Veon will play this season under the exclusive franchise tag designation.


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"After the 2018 season is completed, we again will attempt to work out a long-term contract with Le'Veon in the hope that he will continue his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers."

Bell promised Steelers fans that 2018 would be his best season to date in a social media post, but it could also be his last according to his agent Adisa Bakari.

"His intention was to retire as a Steeler," Bakari said in a statement obtained by NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. "But now that there's no deal, the practical reality is, this now likely will be Le'Veon's last season as a Steeler."

The prolific rushers has been among the league’s elite backs ever since entering the league, having piled up 5,336 yards and 35 touchdowns in five seasons, while also adding 2,660 and seven touchdowns through the air.

Detroit Lions defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and LA Rams safety Lamarcus Joyner will also play under the franchise tag after failing to agree on new contracts before the deadline.

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