Steelers officially franchise Bell again

Bell rushed for 117 yards against the Patriots, his 18 100-yard game of his career, ranking fifth in Steelers history, and his fourth of the season.

Vice president of player personnel Doug Williams confirmed the Redskins are not planning to use the franchise tag on Cousins, according to Kimberly A. Martin of the Washington Post. One, Chicago Bears cornerback Kyle Fuller, received a transition tag. That is, as a runner and pass receiver. Bell ended up making $12.1 million under his franchise tag in 2017. The NFL's highest-paid running backs on long-term deals, Devonta Freeman and LeSean McCoy, make about $8 million per season. By tagging Bell again, the Steelers guarantee that they'll have their sixth-year back under contract through 2018, and Bell would be in line to earn a career-best $14.5 million. The NFL's deadline for franchise-tagged players to strike long-term deals with their teams is July 16.

Bell will not rule out skipping training camp or even reporting as late as Week 10, which is the latest he could report and still get a salary. Unsurprisingly Bell got off to a decidedly slow start from a production standpoint.

Bell would receive $14.544 in 2018 - the second straight season he will play under the franchise tag should he sign the agreement.

Look, don't feel sorry for Bell. He is the third Steelers running back to record 1,200 rushing yards in consecutive seasons, joining Willie Parker and Jerome Bettis with that distinction.

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Bell was informed of the team's decision on Monday ahead of the 4 p.m. ET deadline Tuesday for National Football League teams to designate an unrestricted free agent on their roster as a franchise player. They can talk with other teams, but their current team would get compensation if they leave.

Hard-luck DE Brent Urban of Mississauga, Ont., has re-signed with the Baltimore Ravens for one year.

Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the news Tuesday. But he also suggested that sitting out the season or retiring were options.

Injury-free, Urban dominated as a starter in preseason games last summer. At the very least, it appears contract talks are proceeding at a healthier pace now than past year around this time.

  • Adam Floyd