Le'Veon Bell will leave the Pittsburgh Steelers with no strings attached after the team confirmed they would not be using the transition tag on him meaning he can pick a choose his next move unhindered.
The star running back sat out the entire season last year after refusing to sign a one-year deal worth $14.5 million, saying he wanted the security of a long-term deal with guaranteed money.
Pittsburgh and the player could not find an agreement on the terms of a long-term deal to keep him at Heinz Field, so he stayed away for the entire campaign in order to leave as a free agent.
Bell now has his wish as Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert told reporters the team will not use the transition tag on Bell.
"Le'Veon is still a great player. We can't afford to use any other type of tags," Colbert said to ESPN. "Le'Veon will be an unrestricted free agent at the start of the new league year."
Le'Veon Bell's next NFL team
Bell will now be free to negotiate with any NFL team that wants him, but although any team would gladly take on such a talented dual-threat back, the deal he is looking for of around the $45m guaranteed money Todd Gurley is on at the Rams will put off the vast majority of teams.
Paying out big money for a free agent running back is something of a luxury in the NFL, and although Bell has great numbers he may struggle to get exactly what he is looking for in financial terms, but should still be handsomely paid.
The New York Jets have long been considered the favourites to sign Bell, but the Oakland Raiders, Indianapolis Colts and Miami Dolphins have also been mentioned in the conversation over his next destination.