The Steelers considered using the transition tag on running back Le’Veon Bell. Until they learned what it would cost.
Steelers G.M. Kevin Colbert told PFT Live on Wednesday afternoon that the team decided not to use the transition tag on Bell after the NFL Management Council informed the Steelers that Bell would be entitled to a one-year transition tender of $14.54 million. The Steelers apparently had hoped that, by virtue of sitting out all of 2018, they would be able to apply the base running back transition tag on Bell, which will be less than $10 million for 2019.
The language of the Collective Bargaining Agreement seemed to make it clear that the Steelers would be required to use the higher tender. The Management Council agreed, and according to Colbert that was the key factor in prompting the Steelers to decide to give Le'Veon Bell full and unfettered freedom.