Bell had until 4 p.m. ET on Monday to agree to a long-term deal with the Steelers.

By Nihal Kolur
July 16, 2018

Amidst another contract dispute, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell may sit out the first half of the 2018 season, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports.

"I think it's possible Le'Veon Bell sits out the first half of the year if he doesn't get a long-term deal done," ESPN's Adam Schefter said. "The goal at that point would be to hit 2019 free agency healthy, not rack up another 400 touches."

The 26-year-old Bell had until 4 p.m. ET on Monday to negotiate a long-term deal with the Steelers. Since the two sides did not agree on a new contract, Bell must either sign his $14.5 million franchise tender or begin a holdout.

Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports Pittsburgh offered Bell a five-year, $70 million contract, which would be an increase from the five-year, $60 million deal the team offered prior to last season.

Bell held out last season until the first week of September after facing similar issues with the Steelers front office.

Widely considered the best running back in the NFL, Bell rushed for 1,291 yards and received another 655 last season. He finished with 11 total touchdowns for the AFC North champion Steelers.

If Pittsburgh wishes to keep its "Killer B's" of Bell, Antonio Brown and Ben Roethlisberger together, it appears they will have to shell out a long-term contract for their star running back.

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