If Bell reports to the Steelers midway through this season, his transition tag salary for next season could be as low as $9.24 million.
The Pittsburgh Steelers are now "actively" trying to trade disgruntled holdout running back Le'Veon Bell, NFL Network reported Sunday. According to Rapoport, the Steelers are making calls to teams in hope of landing a "good" player and a second-round pick in exchange for Bell, who hasn't played this season amid a contract dispute.
If that's truly the Steelers' asking price, the 49ers likely quickly hung up the phone.
Bell's continued absence from Pittsburgh has raised questions about what his future salary could and would be if the Steelers, or any team that traded for him, used the transition tag on him this offseason. Bell is one of the best, if not the best, running backs in the league. Philadelphia dealt for running back Jay Ajayi a year ago, but he is a pending free agent and is dealing with a back injury, while the backfield has suffered from other injuries as well.
It makes some sense that teams aren't kicking down the doors for Bell. If a team decides to offer an aggressive deal, the Steelers may have to consider pulling the trigger and moving on from the Bell drama. Since he's now not under the contract, the Steelers can't trade him until the tender is signed.
Bell has seemingly remained in the Miami area while refusing to sign his franchise tag, with no contact with Steelers officials.