Deadline nearing for franchise-tagged players

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell (26), shown during this year's Pro Bowl, has yet to sign a one-year, $14.5 million franchse tender the team made to him.Photo Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports (file photo)

--- ---

NFL teams have until July 16 to work out long-term contracts with franchise-tagged players.

Of note, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell, Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, Detroit Lions defensive end Ziggy Ansah and Los Angeles Rams safety Lamarcus Joyner currently have franchise tags slapped on them.

If deals are not signed and approved by the league before 4 p.m. ET on July 16, the sides cannot agree to new contracts until after the regular season is over.

Lawrence, Ansah and Joyner have each signed one-year franchise tenders. However, Bell has not signed the franchise tender.

The Cowboys and Lawrence are expected to engage in contract talks next week, according to the Athletic.

Lawrence has been seeking a long-term contract but is set to play for just over $17 million in 2018 with the franchise tag.

Lawrence, who started all 16 games and amassed a career-high 14.5 sacks in 2017, is seeking a five-year deal, the Athletic reported, citing a source.

Bell is set to earn $14.5 million under the franchise tag. He ran for 1,291 yards and a career-high nine touchdowns last season while catching a personal-best 85 passes for 655 yards and two scores. He was third in the NFL in rushing yards and 10th in receptions.