Le'Veon Bell's days as a member of the Pittsburgh Steelers franchise appear to be numbered. The Steelers and their star running back were unable to agree to terms on a longterm contract today, meaning Bell will be playing the 2018 season under the franchise tag.
It seems likely that Bell will be holding out for the foreseeable future. ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter suggested during a radio appearance today that Bell could sit out the entire first half of the season.
"I think it's possible Le'Veon Bell sits out first half of the year if he doesn't get a long term deal done," Schefter said. "The goal at that point would be to hit 2019 free agency healthy, not rack up another 400 touches."
Bell's agent has since released a statement on his client's future in Pittsburgh. It doesn't sound good.
"His intention was to retire as a Steeler. But now that there's no deal, the practical reality is, this now likely will Le'Veon's last season as a Steeler," his agent, Adisa Bakari, told Schefter.
Bell's agent says the Steelers want to pay the position, not the player.
"It became clear the Steelers wanted to pay the position, not the player."
Welp. It surely doesn't seem like Bell is going to be a Steeler following the 2018 season. If Pittsburgh was unwilling to pay him now, it seems doubtful that they'd want to pay him in 2019 after another season.