Reports: Bell getting franchise tag again

From Mirror, wire reports

ESPN, and the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette were all reporting Monday night that the Pittsburgh Steelers will hit star running back Le’Veon Bell with a franchise tag for the second year in a row.

Bell told ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler that he expected to be placed on the team’s franchise tag list before today’s deadline. The application does not mean that Bell will have to make a decision soon, but, the tag does give both Bell and the team around four more months to finalize a long-time deal. The deadline for that is July 16.

According to ESPN, Bell is asking for more than the one-year tag that is worth $14.544, up from the $12.1 million he made from last year’s franchise tag. The former Michigan State star did tell Fowler that the two sides are a lot closer than they were a year ago at this time.

The league’s highest-paid running back currently is Devonta Freeman of the Falcons ($8.25 million a year), followed by the Bills’ LeSean McCoy ($8 million a year). If today’s deadline, and the July 16 deadline are missed, Fowler reported that all options are on the table for the all-pro running back, including leaving the game altogether.

Taken in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Bell had reportedly turned down a five-year, $42 million deal from the team, according to the web-site SB Nation.