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Pittsburgh Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert let his plans be known as the NFL owners meeting gets underway.

According to ESPN , it sounds like the Steelers are putting the Le'Veon Bell contract discussions on the back burner until after they get through free agency and the draft.

"We're not intentionally ignoring that. More urgent business needs to get taken care of," Colbert said.

"We will reassess where that is. He'll reassess where his interests are as well. I anticipate us continuing that process once we get through the free agency period and maybe even through the draft. The draft can change things on both sides."

What that likely means is they are putting negotiations on hold until they figure out if they can get any other running back of consequence in free agency or the draft.

This serves a few purposes. Practically, it gives the Steelers a chance to better buttress themselves against Bell's leverage by bolstering depth at the position.

Secondly, it's a smoke signal to Bell and his agents that the team already has done everything it can to let Bell know how important to the team he is.

A $13 million dollar offer and a second franchise tag is enough.

In other words, if that's not enough for you, we aren't going to put our team on hold until you change your mind.

Bell has threatened to sit out deep into the 2018 season and confused many fans during an Instagram chat in which he said he will do what he did last season: skip camp and show up in time for Week 1. In the same chat, he said he might sit out until Week 4.

 

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