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Le’Veon Bell optimistic about a deal with the Steelers

Le'Veon Bell and the Steelers sound like they're closing in on a long-term deal, but there's still a chance he'll end up playing on the franchise tag this season.

Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell believes he can work out a long-term contract with the Steelers before training camp.

Asked on NFL Network if he’s optimistic that he’ll be there for the start of camp, Bell answered, “Yeah.”

“It’s a business,” Bell said. “The people in the organization try to do what’s best for them and I’m trying to do what’s best for me. We’re working on it. We’re a lot closer than we were last year at this time, and that’s what I’m happy about. But none of that matters if we don’t get it done. So hopefully we’ll try to get something done. That’s what I’m looking forward to. I’ve got confidence we’ll get it done. I want to do it.”

Bell said he might end up signing the franchise tag, as he did last year, but he’d prefer to have a long-term deal. If he signs the franchise tag he would hit true unrestricted free agency next year, as his college teammate Kirk Cousins did this year.