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Antonio Brown: Le’Veon Bell will be ‘extremely motivated’ in 2018

Le’Veon Bell and the Pittsburgh Steelers were unable to come to terms on a long-term contract ahead of Monday’s deadline. The talented running back will now play under the franchise tag for the second straight season for $14.5 million, much to his dismay. Antonio Brown nevertheless expects Bell to be “extremely motivated” on the field.

“I think he’ll be pissed off.” Brown said of Bell, via an Instagram post from ESPN’s Josina Anderson.” Extremely motivated. Super hungry. Crazy conditioning. And ready to show why he deserves to be paid like the best.”

Bell reportedly turned down the Steelers’ five-year, $70 million contract offer on Monday. Despite this development, Brown is eager to welcome Bell back to the team, whenever that may occur, with some reports suggesting it could be quite awhile before that happens.

“To each his own,” Brown said. “I know he’s there to take care of his business. Welcome him when he comes and excited to move forward in 2018.”

Bell’s agent hinted on Monday that 2018 could very well be his client’s last year in a Steelers uniform. Whether or not that is indeed the case remains to be seen, although Bell himself took to Twitter to claim 2018 will be the “best season” of his career regardless of his future.

Brown has alternatively criticized Bell over his absence from the Steelers’ offseason program and praised his teammate amid the protracted contract dispute. It would seem Brown, like some other Steelers players, have reluctantly accepted the situation with Bell, despite the inherent distractions, drama and uncertainty beyond this season.