NFL Notebook: Steelers Announce Major Decisions on Brown and Bell

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Le'Veon Bell to Become A Free Agent

Pittsburgh Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert told reporters on Wednesday that the team will not place the franchise or transition tag on Le'Veon Bell – making the seven-year running back an unrestricted free agent come March 13. Bell infamously sat out the 2018 season after refusing to sign his franchise tender.

In his 62 games with the Steelers, the former second-round pick rushed for 5,336 yards with a 4.3 yards per carry average and 35 scores. Additionally, he put up 2,660 yards through the air while adding another seven touchdowns. James Conner proved to be a capable replacement for Bell last season rushing for 973 yards with 12 touchdowns. 

Antonio Brown on Trade Block

The Steelers will also likely be without Antonio Brown this season as the wideout and President Art Rooney II agreed it was “time to move on”. With that said, Colbert mentioned that the team is open to trading the All-Pro wide receiver as long as the move’s parameters prove fruitful for the team.

“But the other point we made (to Antonio) was that (while) we’re open to shopping around the league to see what may be available in exchange for your services, by no means are we going to make a trade or any type of move that will not be beneficial to the Pittsburgh Steelers organization,” Colbert said per Steelers.com. “Specifically, we will not be discounting you on the trade market, and we certainly will not be releasing you. All that being said, we’ll take a positive approach. If someone has a sincere interest and they want to make a move – either a significant draft pick, or a set of picks, or a significant player plus picks – and we think it will benefit the Pittsburgh Steelers in the long run, then we’re all in. If not, then we’ll make that decision at that point.”

In his nine seasons with Pittsburgh, Brown has made seven Pro Bowls and been named a First-Team All-Pro four times. He’s amassed 11,207 receiving yards with 74 touchdowns. 

As a reminder, the Chargers play the Steelers at ROKiT Field at Dignity Health Sports Park this season.

Keenum Reacts to Flacco Report

It was reported last week that Joe Flacco is heading to the Denver Broncos via a trade from the Baltimore Ravens once the new league year kicks off on March 13.

But what about Case Keenum, who signed with Denver just last season?

Keenum spoke with Sports Spectrum and discussed his thoughts on the impending trade. 

“(Broncos GM John) Elway called me that morning and we had a great conversation, which he didn’t have to do, and I appreciated that,” Keenum said on the Sports Spectrum Podcast. “I was definitely shocked, it was a surprise for us and I think probably for the first day or so that’s kind of what it was. But for us, we’re definitely disappointed, it’s not something we wanted to happen. I know that everybody’s doing their job and John feels like that was a chance for him to help the Broncos out.”

Keenum started all 16 games for Denver this season completing 365-of-586 passes for 3,890 yards and 18 touchdowns with 15 picks. In his six seasons in the league, Keenum has played with four organizations.

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