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Steelers GM Kevin Colbert releases statement on inability to come to terms with Le’Veon Bell

It certainly sounds as if the Steelers are preparing for life without Bell in 2019.

NFL: Pittsburgh Steelers at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The deadline for the Pittsburgh Steelers and All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell to come to terms on a long-term contract has come and gone.

No deal.

While this isn’t breaking news anymore, Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert released the following statement regarding the team’s inability to find middle ground with Bell and his team.

The statement reads:

“Even though we could not reach a long-term contract agreement with Le’Veon Bell, we are excited he will be with the team in 2018.

We worked very hard to find common ground, but we were unable to accomplish that prior to the deadline. Le’Veon will play this season under the Exclusive Rights Franchise Tag.

After the 2018 season is completed, we again will attempt to work out a long-term contract with Le’Veon in the hope he will continue his career with the Pittsburgh Steelers.”

Nothing like that little caveat at the end. Sure, there is always a chance the Steelers can extend Bell after the season, but the only real chance this would ever happen is if Bell suffers a setback of some kind this season. Whether it is an injury, or suspension, Bell is going to be looking to hit the market for the highest bidder in free agency next season.

Either way, the next step is to see just what Bell does regarding training camp and the preseason. Will he follow his plan from 2017 and not show up until the lead up to Week 1? Or will he show up and hope to start the season off on the right foot?

This story is far from over, so stay tuned to BTSC for the latest news.