Steelers place franchise tag on running back Le'Veon Bell

Bell has now become the third player to encounter a franchise tag on Monday as both the Arizona Cardinals and Carolina Panthers have tabbed their respective players as well.

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said two weeks ago that the team would consider using the tag, but would like Bell to retire as a Steeler.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have announced that the team has placed the franchise tag on running back Le'Veon Bell. That's considerably less than the 7.257-percent rate that applies under the franchise tag for running backs.

The Steelers have made re-signing Brown, who is in the final year of a six-year, $43 million contract, an immediate priority.

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This is hardly a surprise to anyone, as Bell was expected to receive the tag all along.

It's the first time the Steelers have used the exclusive rights franchise tender.

Bell rushed for 1,268 yards (4.9-yard average) and caught 75 passes for another 616 yards last season, becoming the first player in National Football League history to average 100 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards per game. The 28-year-old finished with 106 receptions for 1,284 yards and 12 touchdowns last season.

Pittsburgh and Bell have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal. Bell has yet to play in a full season, and has experienced an injury every year since being drafted in 2013. This has been due to various injuries, as well as multiple violations of the NFL's substance abuse policy.

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