Steelers Reportedly Place Franchise Tag on Le'Veon Bell

20151001pdSteelersSports09-1 Peter Diana  Post Gazette Former Steelers kicker Josh Scobee right reacts after missing his second field goal of the evening against the Ravens in October 2015

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said two weeks ago that the team would consider using the tag, but would like Bell to retire as a Steeler.

According to a Monday afternoon report from Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Pittsburgh Steelers have placed their franchise tag on running back Le'Veon Bell.

At that time, Colbert said surgery to fix the injury was still on the table, but Bell and the team have since decided against a surgical fix.

The deadline for the sides to come to a long-term contract is July 15.

Le'Veon Bell was given the exclusive franchise tag.

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It's the first time the Steelers have used the exclusive rights franchise tender.

Bell, 25, rushed for 1,268 yards and caught 75 passes for 616 yards in 12 games during the 2016 season and was the team's 2016 MVP.

Bell will presumably want a long-term deal, and the Steelers will have to figure out how to accommodate him. With Adrian Peterson likely to be released from the Vikings in the near future, the franchise tag number for running backs could decrease from the $12 million it was a year ago.

Injuries have ended Bell's last three seasons prematurely, including a groin injury suffered during the 36-17 AFC title game loss to the New England Patriots. Brown has one year left on his current deal and will probably become the league's highest-paid receiver on his next contract.

In 2016-2017, Bell appeared in 12 regular season games for the Steelers while once again helping the franchise to a postseason berth.

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