Player News - Steelers

Date: Team: Pos:

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reports unsigned franchise player Le'Veon Bell is expected to skip training camp but report for Week 1 for the second-straight season.

Fowler reports Bell holding out regular season games "would be a shock," and that the Steelers fully expect him to be in uniform for Week 1. Bell's agent essentially confirmed the approach in a radio interview. Bell would simply be leaving too much money on the table (over $7 million) to extend his holdout. Fantasy drafters can select Bell in the top three with confidence.
Jul 17 - 1:05 PM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports the Steelers offered Le'Veon Bell a five-year, $70 million contract prior to Monday's 4 PM ET deadline.

Per RapSheet, the offer contained more than $30 million over the first two years, but Bell has opted to instead play on the $14.544 million tag for the second straight year before hitting free agency at 27 years old next March. The $14 million average on the Steelers' offer would easily make Bell the league's highest-paid back, an honor held at the moment by Devonta Freeman at $8.25 million per year. It's hard to see Bell doing better than this next offseason, but we'll see.
Jul 16 - 6:57 PM

According to The Athletic's Mark Kaboly, Steelers second-year RB James Conner "was very impressive" at spring practices.

On the same day the Steelers failed to reach a long-term deal with Le'Veon Bell, Kaboly noted No. 2 runner Conner "looks like he can be a solid every-down back in this league." There were few signs of that during Conner's rookie year, when he struggled with durability and pass protection in preseason games, then failed to earn more than eight snaps in any of his 13 regular season appearances. Conner's season ended on injured reserve with a torn MCL.
Jul 16 - 5:49 PM

Le'Veon Bell strongly hinted on Twitter Monday that he will not hold out into the 2018 regular season.

No long-term deal was reached between the Steelers and Bell ahead of Monday's 4PM ET deadline for franchise players to sign extensions. "(My) desire always has been to retire a Steeler," Bell wrote. "Both sides worked extremely hard today to make that happen, but the NFL is a hard business at times. To the fans that had hope, I’m sorry we let you down but trust me, 2018 will be my best season to date." Bell wouldn't be able to turn in his "best season to date" if he missed games. The over-under date for Bell to report to the Steelers should be set at September 1, the date on which he reported last year.
Jul 16 - 4:25 PM

Le'Veon Bell will play his second-straight season on the Steelers' franchise tag.

No long-term deal was reached before Monday's 4PM ET deadline. As last year's tag netted Bell $12.12 million and this year's tag is worth $14.544 million, Bell will have collected $26.664 million fully guaranteed for two seasons. A suggestion surfaced Monday that Bell could hold out for the first half of the year, but that would cost Bell over $7 million and seems highly unlikely. Still, Bell is likely headed for another protracted training camp holdout. Last season, Bell reported to the Steelers nine days before Week 1.
Jul 16 - 3:18 PM

Speaking on SiriusXM NFL Radio, ESPN's Adam Schefter said he thinks "it's possible Le'Veon Bell sits out the first half of the year if he doesn't get a long-term deal done."

Considering it is deadline day for franchise-tagged players to sign a long-term deal, this feels like a leak by Bell's camp to put pressure on the Steelers. That said, Bell did skip all of training camp last season, and it makes sense for him to hold out as long as possible to avoid both an injury and shouldering another 400 touches. Bell's No. 1 overall upside is tough to pass up, but he is a risk at the top of fantasy drafts.
Jul 16 - 10:26 AM

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports negotiations between franchise-tagged Le'Veon Bell and the Steelers "will go down to the wire."

The deadline to sign a deal is 4 ET Monday afternoon. Coach Mike Tomlin said over the weekend he is optimistic a deal will get done, but ESPN's Adam Schefter painted a less rosy picture on Sunday night, saying it will be "challenging" for the two sides to reach an agreement. Bell will likely skip training camp again this season if he does not land a long-term contract.
Jul 16 - 8:30 AM

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin told WAVY 10 he's optimistic the team will reach a deal with franchise player Le'Veon Bell ahead of Monday's 4 PM ET deadline.

"He wants to get the deal done," said the long-time Steelers coach. "I’m excited and hopeful. Hopefully we’ll have some exciting news Monday." The two sides have reportedly made progress in extension talks, though the clock is ticking with Monday's 4 PM deadline fast approaching. Bell is prepared to sit out training camp, just as he did last year, if a deal isn't reached. The Steelers are hoping it doesn't come to that, though Tomlin doesn't sound concerned about Bell's level of fitness. "He’s the type of guy who’s highly conditioned over a 12-month calendar," said Tomlin.
Jul 15 - 9:03 AM

The Steelers have "made some progress" in extension talks with Le'Veon Bell.

Bell plans to hold out of training camp if the sides can't get something done before the July 16 deadline. The Steelers haven't been willing to meet Bell's $17 million AAV asking price, but talks have at least ramped up. Bell will make $14.5 million if he plays 2018 under the franchise tag.
Jul 14 - 3:21 PM

The Tribune-Review's Joe Rutter speculates 2018 could be LG Ramon Foster's final season with the Steelers.

The 32-year-old is entering the final year of his contract, and Rutter speculates the Steelers could look to get younger next offseason. Foster has never made a Pro Bowl, but he has been a quality starter for the better part of a decade. Rutter identifies B.J. Finney as a possible replacement.
Jul 12 - 11:13 AM

The Pittsburgh Tribune Review expects Le'Veon Bell to hold out of training camp if he doesn't get a new deal before the July 16 extension deadline.

It would be Bell's second straight holdout after not reporting until September last year. Bell didn't attend offseason workouts and has yet to sign his franchise tender. The Steelers haven't come close to the $17 million AAV he's targeting on a long-term deal, but it's possible the sides open talks next week. Bell will make $14.5M if he plays 2018 under the tag.
Jul 7 - 2:17 PM

ESPN's Jeremy Fowler projects 100-plus targets for JuJu Smith-Schuster this season.

Smith-Schuster had 79 targets despite missing two games last year. It's not a stretch to expect him to build off his rookie success, but reigning Biletnikoff James Washington is a threat to outsnap him in base sets. Limited with a knee injury this offseason, Smith-Schuster should be ready for training camp.
Source: ESPN
Jul 7 - 12:04 PM

Le'Veon Bell said he and the Steelers are "a lot closer than we were last year at this time" in contract negotiations.

"None of that matters if we don't get it done," Bell cautioned before adding he has "confidence" the two sides can reach an agreement. Bell held out of training camp last season after the two sides failed to reach a long-term deal and has said he would do the same this season. The running back is reportedly targeting $17 million a year on an extension, a number he will almost certainly have to back off to get something done. The highest-paid running back on a long-term deal, Devonta Freeman's contract averages $8.25 million per season.
Source: NFL.com
Jun 26 - 8:26 AM

Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said fifth-round rookie Jaylen Samuels is "highly evolved in the passing game."

Samuels has been working as a running back with the Steelers, but he played everywhere during his time at NC State. That experience has given him some earned confidence in the passing game. "Not to be cocky or anything, but I just feel like I have great hands, great route-running," Samuels said. "As a runner, I can make guys miss in open space. That's kind of what I did in college, try to make guys miss in open space." Samuels is at best looking at a backup role behind Le'Veon Bell, but it would not be surprising to see him make some plays as a rookie.
Jun 18 - 9:52 AM

Ben Roethlisberger said he is not worried about his contract.

"I have two years on my contract. I'm not going to be one to sit here and worry about my contract," Roethlisberger said. "It's important, too, to understand as quarterback of this team, sometimes you almost have to leave a little bit of money behind for other guys." Le'Veon Bell is the obvious "other guy," but Roethlisberger mentioned Maurkice Pouncey and Marcus Gilbert as players he hopes "get taken care of." Ben looked to be on retirement's doorstep last offseason, but now he seems to be in it for the long haul.
Source: ESPN
Jun 18 - 9:26 AM


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