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Is there a loser in Steelers contract standoff with Le'Veon Bell?

As today's deadline approaches, the Steelers' contract negotiations with Le'Veon Bell are down to the wire

Le'Veon Bell didn't sign the multi-year contract offer the Pittsburgh Steelers placed on the table ahead of Monday's deadline for franchise tag players to sign long-term deals. Whether he does so remains to be seen, but without an extension in place, he'll become a free agent following the upcoming campaign. In keeping with this theme, Bell took to social media Monday evening to speak out about the lack of a long-term deal. With Bell more focused on rehabbing from surgery than a new deal, the Steelers were without him for all of the team's OTAs and minicamps.

Contract negotiations between the Pittsburgh Steelers and star running back Le'Veon Bell are down to the wire. The two sides had until today at 4 p.m.to reach a long-term deal.

Steelers fans are likely hoping the two sides can come to an agreement soon, because Bell has been a dominant force in their backfield when he's been healthy or not suspended over the last few seasons.

Bell is arguably one of the top running backs in the National Football League right now, but the Steelers are wise to be a tad reluctant to invest too much money at the running back position considering the lifespan of running backs in the NFL. If the Steelers weren't willing to give Bell any guarantees beyond 2017 and likewise not willing to pay him $26.62 million or close to it this year, he made the right decision. 2017 means a lot on the future of Bell and the Steelers, but how next offseason, James Conner's performance, and the 2018 season play out could be a significant factor in the future of the Steelers' backfield.

Colbert holds the cards as he could franchise Bell a second time to again prevent him from becoming an unrestricted free agent. Bell started 2015 and 2016 on the NFL's suspended list for violations of the league's substance abuse policy. Depending on how Conner plays this season, he could be the deciding factor in the Steelers efforts to bring back their All-Pro running back. "I'm going to definitely enjoy my best year with the Steelers and be happy with it".