It’s officially official now. Le’Veon Bell has signed his franchise tender, according to an announcement from the Steelers.
Bell stayed home during training camp and preseason action after the two sides could not reach agreement on an extension before the deadline. All along, we heard that Bell would report to the team before the regular season and he made good on that when he arrived at team headquarters on Friday. He did not put pen to paper on his one-year tender, however. On Monday morning, he did.
The running back will now play out the season on a one-year, $12.12MM tender. If he continues to play at a high level, the Steelers will have to either use a second tag on him worth roughly $14MM or give him a monster multi-year deal to keep him.
Bell ran for 1,268 yards off of 261 carries last year, good for a 4.9-yards-per-carry average, and seven touchdowns. He also had 75 catches for 616 yards and two touchdowns. Bell earned a Pro Bowl nod for his performance and also was named team MVP.
The Steelers have received a roster exemption for Bell, so they are actually carrying 54 players on the roster as of this writing. They have two weeks to get the roster back down to the 53-man max.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.