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Le'Veon Bell, Steelers aren't optimistic about new deal

Deadlines usually spur action in the NFL. It doesn't appear today's 4 p.m. ET deadline for franchise tagged players to agree on long-term contracts will follow suit.

Most of the four franchise tagged players -- Le'Veon Bell, Lamarcus Joyner, Ziggy Ansah and DeMarcus Lawrence -- are set to play the 2018 season on the one-year tender.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reports that Bell is the only contract that could come down to the wire. The other three plan on playing out the tag.

With hours before the deadline, let's take a look at each player's situation.

Le'Veon Bell, Pittsburgh Steelers

The Pittsburgh Steelers and star running back Le'Veon Bell almost had a long-term solution at last year's deadline before Bell declined. Could the same situation play out Monday? Not likely. Bell and the Steelers are still talking, but a deal before the deadline remains a long shot, Rapoport reported. Bell is set to make $14.5 million if he plays on the tag. Rapoport reported any deal would come in around that number annually. With the rest of the running back market sitting nearly $6 million below that number, can sides find a common figure? Rapoport notes that despite negotiating all weekend, both parties aren't optimistic a deal will get done, with guarantees being the sticking point. Historically, Pittsburgh doesn't give guarantees beyond the second or third season. Will one side back down ahead of today's deadline or will the questions swirling around Bell's future continue? Bell has not signed his tender and could choose to skip training camp workouts, as he did last season.

Lamarcus Joyner, Los Angeles Rams

Lamarcus Joyner and the Los Angeles Rams couldn't come to terms on a long-term contract and one isn't expected Monday, Rapoport reported. The safety is set to make $11.28 million on the franchise tag. L.A. chose to tag the versatile Joyner over receiver Sammy Watkins. It's the third straight season a tagged Rams player didn't strike a long-term solution (corner Trumaine Johnson the past two season). With other potential tag options next year, Joyner could be playing out the final year in L.A. Sides can begin talks about a new multi-year contract after the season.

DeMarcus Lawrence, Dallas Cowboys

DeMarcus Lawrence will play out his $17.1 million franchise tag, per Rapoport. The Cowboys want to see consistency from the young pass rusher before plopping down the $17-million annual deal Lawrence is seeking. Coming off a 14.5 sack season, Lawrence has the potential to be a game-wrecking annual Pro Bowler. A previous suspension and inconsistency are issues Lawrence must overcome before getting paid down the road. The pass rusher already signed his franchise tender.

Ezekiel Ansah, Detroit Lions

Like Lawrence, Ezekiel Ansah won't come to a long-term solution with the Lions before the deadline, per Rapoport. The pass rusher is the least-surprising player not to get a new deal. Lions general manager Bob Quinn intimated in the past he'd like to see Ansah in new coach Matt Patricia's system before handing the former first-round pick a long-term deal. Coming off a 12-sack season, Ansah owns the explosiveness to be a difference-maker. However, questions about consistency and injuries plague the Ghana-born Ansah. Nine of his 12 sacks last season came in three games, with eight tilts sans a QB takedown. It's a pivotal season for the pass rusher before he potentially hits the open market in 2019.

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