Steelers still considering using transition tag on Le'Veon Bell

The Pittsburgh Steelers are still considering using their transition tag on Le'Veon Bell, which would give them the right to match any offer sheet the free-agent-to-be signs with any other team, a league source told ESPN.

The prospect of using the transition tag on the star running back creates an interesting situation, considering the fact that receiver Antonio Brown is likely to be traded, while Bell could possibly be back in Pittsburgh for 2019.

Pittsburgh's decision depends on how much another team would value Bell and whether the Steelers would be willing to match the offer sheet.

There also is a battle brewing between the NFL and and NFL Players Association over the value of what the transition tag would be on Bell if the Steelers did use it. Bell and the NFLPA will argue that the transition tag is close to $14.5 million based on the escalating value of tags, and the Steelers and the NFL will say it's closer to $9.5 million because Bell sat out this past season.

No player has ever been in a situation like this. If the league wins the ruling, it will add even more leverage to teams using franchise and transition tags. If the NFLPA wins, it will give players more rights if they decide to skip seasons when tagged.

Bell, who turns 27 later this month, skipped the entire 2018 season after declining to sign his franchise tender, leaving $14.5 million on the table.