Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell has said that he and the team had agreed to a deadline of February 20 to finalize a long-term deal. Four days from that artificial deadline, how real are the talks?

There’s talk in league circles that nothing much has been happening between the two sides in recent weeks. Of course, deadlines (real or fake) often lead to action, and if the foundation for a deal was laid in the days after the team’s season ended, it shouldn’t take much to get the deal done.

For Bell, it still makes sense to wait until the window for application of the franchise tag closes. If tagged a second straight time, Bell would be entitled to more than $14.5 million for 2018, making that the starting point for a long-term deal. If not tagged, the open market will determine his value.