Steelers "actively shopping" Bell, but teams haven't been aggressive thus far.
The Pittsburgh Steelers fell to 1-2-1 on the season and last place in the AFC North on Sunday night with a 26-14 loss to the division rival Baltimore Ravens. To make matters worse, there's no end in sight to the Le'Veon Bell holdout and the team is now "actively shopping" the Pro Bowl running back, according to reports.
Prior to the Pittsburgh's Sunday night loss, ESPN's Adam Schefter confirmed that the Steelers are fielding offers for Bell but added, "no trade talks have advanced to a serious stage at this time." According to Schefter, "some teams have inquired about Bell, while others are mulling whether to make a move, but none has been aggressive so far."
Trading Bell, who has thus far refused to sign he $14.534 million tender, would be a complicated process but not impossible.
"If any team used the transition tag on Bell next season, the tag number would be 120 percent of this season's salary."
"But the longer Bell holds out, the more his salary for this season drops, which could dramatically affect what he earns in 2019. If Bell were to report to the Steelers next week, the most he could make this year would be $11.12 million; and 120 percent of that number under the transition tag would be $13.346 million -- lower than the $14.534 he was scheduled to earn under the franchise tag this season."
According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, the Steelers are currently seeking a second-round draft pick and a player in any deal for Bell. To date, Bell has already forfeited $3.41 million by missing Pittsburgh's first four games. The Steelers will host the 1-3 Atlanta Falcons in Week 5.