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Steelers, Rashard Mendenhall in contract talks

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Despite sitting this game out for conduct detrimental to the team, a report Sunday morning says the Steelers and Rashard Mendenhall are in contract talks.

Justin K. Aller

ESPN's Adam Schefter is reporting Sunday despite being suspended, Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall is in contract talks with the team.

Considering he's suspended, perhaps it's because he has nothing else to do.

Schefter also noted an allegation that Mendenhall didn't find out through the team he had been placed behind Jonathan Dwyer on the depth chart, or told he wasn't going to play against Baltimore in Week 13. According to the report, friends had told him he had lost the starting job to Dwyer.

The report didn't suggest the possibility that Mendenhall wasn't around for the team to be able to tell him.

The long-term possibility of Mendenhall remaining in Pittsburgh is real enough - like everyone else, if the price is right. Mendenhall's high-end value will not fetch much more than the veteran minimum over two or three years due to his injuries this season, and now internal issues with the Steelers.

Mendenhall has 3,480 rushing yards in his five-year career, with 31 total touchdowns.

With Dwyer and Isaac Redman looking to hit restricted free agency in 2013, and the viability of Chris Rainey and Baron Batch in spot roles (at very low prices) next year, Mendenhall would likely have larger contract offers elsewhere. Whether he'd take any of those remains to be seen, but dialogue between the two teams, reportedly, is happening.