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Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers reportedly talk contract


The Pittsburgh Steelers have suspended running back Rashard Mendenhall for Sunday's critical game with the Dallas Cowboys, but his future with the team isn't over.

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At least not according to ESPN'S Adam Schefter, who reported Sunday that Mendenhall and the Steelers are "communicating and committing to (a) meaningful contractual conversation," according to a source.

Mendenhall becomes an unrestricted free agent after the season. He's been inactive since fumbling twice in a Week 12 loss to the Cleveland Browns. Mendenhall then raised the Steelers' ire by failing to show up at Heinz Field for last Sunday's loss to the San Diego Chargers. That triggered the one-game suspension and raised plenty of questions about Mendenhall's future in the Steel City.

The rise of Jonathan Dwyer might ultimately push Mendenhall out the door. The Steelers house a handful of promising young backs. We wouldn't be surprised to see coach Mike Tomlin patch things up with Mendenhall, but Pittsburgh isn't interesting in over-paying for the back.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.