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Le’Veon Bell says contract talks closer than they were last year

Divisional Round - Jacksonville Jaguars v Pittsburgh Steelers

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 14: Telvin Smith #50 of the Jacksonville Jaguars tackles Le’Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers during the first half of the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field on January 14, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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The Steelers and running back Le’Veon Bell didn’t agree on a long-term contract last offseason, which left Bell to play out the year on the franchise tag and start the process over again this offseason.

Bell said Wednesday that the ball has started rolling on that front. Bell said, via Mark Kaboly of The Athletic, that he has already received a contract offer from the team.

The details of the offer aren’t known, but they appear to be to Bell’s liking. He said that the two sides are closer to agreeing on a deal than they were while talking about a contract in 2017. Bell said recently that he would consider sitting out the 2018 season if he’s tagged again at a salary around $14.5 million, but probably won’t have to put that to the test if conversations with the Steelers continue to go well.

Bell also addressed a report that he was late to the Steelers’ final walkthrough practice of the year. Bell said he was late due to a personal issue and that the coaching staff was aware ahead of time.