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Pittsburgh Steelers: As expected, Le'Veon Bell ends holdout

By The Sports Xchange
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell breaks into the Kansas City Chiefs' backfield during the AFC playoffs last season. Photo by Kyle Rivas/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/4e75fa8b7cdf6b31684f1358b1845f3f/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell breaks into the Kansas City Chiefs' backfield during the AFC playoffs last season. Photo by Kyle Rivas/UPI | License Photo

Franchise-tagged running back Le'Veon Bell ended his holdout Friday, reporting to the Pittsburgh Steelers' facility just before noon ET.

Bell skipped training camp and all four preseason games in a contract dispute sparked when the two sides failed on an 11th-hour attempt for a long-term contract agreement July 15. That deadline-date offer was a five-year deal and reportedly would have paid Bell more than any running back in the NFL, including guaranteed him at least $37 million in the first three years of the deal.

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Under the terms of the NFL's franchise tag structure, Bell will be paid $12.120 million for the 2017 season.

Bell posted a rap video to social media on Thursday suggesting his price tag is $17 million annually.

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Last season, Bell totaled 1,884 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns in just 12 games because of suspensions and injuries.

Bell, 25, was designated by the Steelers as their franchise player in March.

The Steelers can tag the Bell for the second straight season in 2018 at $14.54 million or re-sign him. The franchise tag still leaves Bell as the league's highest-paid tailback in 2017.

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Bell, who is recovering from groin surgery, aggravated the injury that kept him on the sideline for the majority of last season's AFC Championship Game against the New England Patriots.

The Steelers rode Bell to the playoffs in 2016. He rushed for 1,268 yards and seven touchdowns and caught 75 passes for another 616 yards and two scores during the regular season, becoming the first player in NFL history to average 100 rushing yards and 50 receiving yards per game.

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