Steelers GM optimistic about finding ‘common ground’ with Bell on new deal

Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert remains confident his club will be able to reach a long-term contract for star running back Le'Veon Bell.

The Steelers used the franchise tag on Bell last spring, who subsequently played the 2017 season with a $12.1 million cap hit.

"I don't like to get into too much detail," Colbert told reporters Wednesday. "I can say this, though: I'm optimistic that we can find common ground. Those things are never final until they're final."

Colbert appeared reticent to use the tag on Bell for a second consecutive year, but didn't rule it out as an option. If both parties can't agree upon a contract by March 6, Bell is scheduled to become a free agent on March 14.

"We'll never say the tag is not available because it's a collectively bargained item that, if need be, will be put into use."

Bell is establishing himself as arguably the NFL's best running back, earning his second first-team All-Pro selection in 2017. The 26-year-old rushed for 1,291 yards and nine touchdowns, adding 86 receptions for 655 yards and two touchdowns.

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