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Report: Le’Veon Bell seeking $17 million per year

Le’Veon Bell is actively seeking a massive long-term contract from the Pittsburgh Steelers, a deal that would make him the highest-paid running back in the game. And now a new report suggests Bell wants to be paid as well as the top wide receivers in the game, including teammate Antonio Brown.

“Everybody associated with this has said that the Steelers want to do a long-term deal,” NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala reported this week from the NFL owners meetings, as transcribed by CBS Sports. “In fact, I spoke to (head coach) Mike Tomlin earlier today and he said, ‘Everybody knows we’re in the business of trying to lock him up for the rest of his career.’ However, as (general manager) Kevin Colbert … told the local media, there’s no urgency right now, and here’s why: Le’Veon Bell wants $17 million a year.

“He wants to be paid exactly like Antonio Brown is paid. So the Steelers are saying, ‘Well, we’re going to wait a little while before we address that fully because clearly the Steelers don’t feel that that’s where Bell’s value is.”

Bell’s contributions in both the running and passing game are somewhat unparalleled. Bell rushed for 1,291 yards, with nine touchdowns on the ground, averaging four yards per carry. The all-purpose back also added 85 receptions for 655 yards and two touchdowns, averaging 7.7 yards per catch.

Interestingly, this latest report concerning Bell’s contract demands somewhat echo what was believed to be the case as far back as last offseason, before the Steelers placed its franchise tag on the running back, as the team did again just recently.

As it stands, a report last weekend stated the Steelers have put negotiations with Bell on hold. While Bell has stated he won’t sit out the 2018 NFL season, he did hint at sitting out through training camp if the franchise tag is not rescinded and a long-term deal is hammered out, what Bell has desired for years.

It’s safe to assume that Bell’s reported contract demands could throw a wrench at making further progress if talks again resume.