NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reports there has been "significant progress" on long-term contract talks between the Steelers and Antonio Brown.
Speculation that Brown may not be long in Pittsburgh after the wide receiver filmed the Steelers' locker room scene on Facebook Live after their divisional round win over the Kansas City Chiefs this season.
The team announced on Monday that they would use their exclusive franchise tag on Le'Veon Bell, per ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.
As things now stand, Brown is set to make $4.71 million in base salary in 2017, per Spotrac.
The team made sure Bell's rights will remain with them on Monday when they placed an exclusive rights franchise tender on the former All-Pro running back.
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Pittsburgh did not want to allow the All-Pro running back to hit the free-agent market next week and have now applied the franchise tag.
The Steelers will now have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal with Bell.
Brown is potentially in line to land the richest wide receiver contract in National Football League history. Despite missing the first three games of the 2016 because of a suspension, Bell finished fifth in the league with 1,268 rushing yards and seven touchdowns.
But for the third consecutive season, Bell ended the season with injury.
However, while the Cardinals have slapped pass rusher Chandler Jones with their tag in addition to the Panthers selecting defensive tackle Kawann Short, the veteran rusher in Bell has become the first offensive player to be tagged this offseason.