Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Bell optimistic he will get long-term Steelers deal

— The Sports Xchange —

Running back Le’Veon Bell, who played under the Pittsburgh Steelers’ franchise tag this past season, said he is confident he will reach an agreement with the team on a long-term contract.
The 25-year-old Bell rushed for 1,291 yards in 2017, the second straight season and third time in his five years as a pro that he has gone over 1,000. He added nine touchdowns, giving him 35 in his career.
“I think where we were last year at this point, we’re a lot further than we were last year,” Bell said Wednesday after Pro Bowl practice in Orlando, Fla.
“I think we’ll eventually come to an agreement and hopefully everything goes well.”
The NFL Network reported last year that Bell turned down a contract that would have guaranteed him $30 million in the first two seasons. He said Wednesday he would turn down a similar deal, but indicated other elements led to his decision, but would not go into detail.
The Steelers could again put the franchise tag on Bell beginning Feb. 13, which would pay him about $14.5 million for 2018. Bell said he has not been told whether the team would place the franchise tag on him as a potential placeholder for a long-term deal.