Published: Tue, February 28, 2017
Sport | By Noel Norman

Steelers Tag Bell, Extend Brown


Earlier on Monday, the team designated running Le'Veon Bell its exclusive franchise player, guaranteeing that he'd play the 2017 season in Pittsburgh.

The Steelers will now have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal with Bell.

The first year of Brown's new deal replaces the final year of his previous one, meaning that he's under contract through the 2021 season.

The Steelers have never used the exclusive franchise tag, which blocks Bell from negotiating with other teams. Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles is due $9.09 million in 2017; Peterson is owed $14 million.

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The team has to think about his off-field history. He has recorded five 1,000-receiving yard campaigns (2011 and '13-16) and four consecutive 100-reception seasons (2013-16) - joining Marvin Harrison (1999-2002) as the only players in National Football League history with four straight 100-catch seasons.

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.

Since entering the National Football League in 2010 as a sixth round (195th overall) draft selection of the Steelers, Brown leads all active National Football League players in receptions (632) and receiving yards (8,377). Bell also rushed for 167 and 170 yards respectively in Pittsburgh's first two postseason games.

The franchise tag is projected to be for a little more than $12 million (the average of the salaries of the five highest-paid running backs in the NFL.) Last season, Bell earned just under $1 million with a cap of $1.13 million.

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