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Rooney: Le'Veon Bell's future 'is here' with Steelers

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  • By Jeremy Bergman NFL.com
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When healthy, Le'Veon Bell is probably the most dangerous all-around tailback in the game. The problem is he's rarely on the field.

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After sitting out a two-game suspension for DUI and marijuana possession charges, the Steelers running back suffered a season-ending torn MCL in his sixth game back in 2015. Bell was coming off a dominant 2014 season that was cut short after hyperextending his knee in the final week.

Add to all that the back is entering the final year of his rookie deal -- in which he will earn less than $1 million in 2016 -- and his status on the Steelers' roster going forward appears as shaky as ever.

However, Steelers president Art Rooney II has no doubts where Bell will end up when healthy, telling a group of Pittsburgh reporters that Bell's future "is here" in Pittsburgh, according to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Rooney added "we've seen enough" when it comes to Bell's production and the back does not have anything to prove after his injury when it comes time to talking contract extension.

Sans Bell, the Steelers survived the regular season on the legs of De'Angelo Williams, who had his best season since 2009 with 907 rushing yards. But in the postseason, with Williams out, the Steelers were exposed, losing in Denver thanks to a fumble from rookie back Fitzgerald Toussaint.

Rightly so, locking up Bell for the long-term remains a priority for Rooney and Steelers management, regardless of the injury risks. The front office would also be smart to get the extension done during this offseason, before Bell returns to form and potentially ups his value.

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