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AS DEADLINE LOOMS, STEELERS AND LEVEON BELL LOOK TO REACH DEAL 

In the NFL’s highest priced game of “Chicken”, the Pittsburgh Steelers and running back LeVeon Bell look to finish a deal before today’s 4:00 PM EST deadline. Pittsburgh has until then to sign Bell to a long-term contract or Bell will play for a second straight year under the Steeler’s franchise tag at $14.5 million. Bell played under the franchise tag in 2107 at $12.12 million and has already turned down two big offers by the Steelers.

Negotiations between the two have gone on for over 500 days and a long term deal has yet to be worked out. Bell originally wanted Antonio Brown type money which is $17 million a year but has come down somewhat to a long-term deal this year’s tag of $14.5 million. The Steelers are reported looking to give Bell a three-year deal somewhere South of $14 million. Bell’s contention that as one of the NFL’s elite playmakers, he should be compensated like one. Bell faces a deflated running back market that has not paid a back more than $10 million dollars a year since e Chris Johnson and Adrian Peterson in 2011.

Bell skipped the entire NFL preseason last year, signing his franchise tag in September. He still accumulated 1900+ yards from scrimmage and 11 touchdowns despite a slow start. Bell will undoubted skip camp again this year if no deal is reached and will likely not return as a Steeler in 2019. A high stakes game of “Chicken” indeed. It will be interesting to see who blinks first if at all.

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