Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is sounding an optimistic note about running back Le'Veon Bell‘s contract.
Tomlin told WAVY in Virginia that he’s hoping to have a long-term contract done with Bell before Monday.
“Obviously we want to get the deal done,” Tomlin said. “He wants to get the deal done. Everybody has said that. Now it’s just about the negotiators getting in the room, and doing what it is they need to do. I’m excited and hopeful. Hopefully we’ll have some exciting news Monday.”
If Bell doesn’t sign by Monday at 4 p.m., he’ll only be able to sign a one-year contract with the Steelers this year. In that case, Bell would likely skip training camp and only report before the start of the regular season. Tomlin doesn’t want that to happen, but he said he thinks he can count on Bell to be in shape for Week One even if he’s not in training camp.
“He’s the type of guy who’s highly conditioned over a 12-month calendar,” Tomlin said.
One way or another, we’ll know by tomorrow afternoon whether Bell is with the Steelers in the long term, or whether he’s going to hit free agency in March.