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NFL Insider Has New Update On Le'Veon Bell, Steelers

LeVeon Bell walking on the field.

PITTSBURGH, PA - DECEMBER 10: Le'Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers reacts after a 20 yard touchdown reception in the first quarter during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Heinz Field on December 10, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

Pittsburgh Steelers fans have been keeping an eye on the situation involving star running back Le'Veon Bell. The 26-year-old Bell is involved in a contract standoff with the organization.

The Steelers used their franchise tag on Bell, but did so hoping to negotiate some type of long-term deal. However, that looks unlikely to happen as we approach this afternoon's deadline.

According to NFL.com's Ian Rapoport, Bell and the Steelers were still in contact about a new contract, though Rapoport called it a "long shot" that one is actually signed.

While Bell could play this season on the franchise tag for a considerable salary, ESPN's Adam Schefter broached a potential nightmare scenario for the Steelers on SiriusXM Radio this morning. Per Schefter, Bell might sit out at least the first half of the season. He'd be hitting free agency again next year, so saving his body might be a priority.

Bell has been the top all-purpose back in football the last several seasons. He was outstanding again in 2017, rushing for 1,291 yards and a career-high nine touchdowns while catching 85 passes (another career high) for 655 yards and two touchdowns.

If Bell doesn't suit up for Pittsburgh, it will be a huge blow to one of the league's top offensive units.