With just over a month to go before the NFL trade deadline, the Steelers are contacting teams and actively shopping Bell, a source informed of the situation told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport. Pittsburgh general manager Kevin Colbert is seeking at least a second-round draft pick and a "good" player in exchange for the prolific offensive threat, Rapoport added.
So far, however, no teams have matched the Steelers' terms for a trade, Rapoport reported. For Bell to be traded, he would have to essentially agree to the transaction by signing his $14.54 million franchise tender with the team. Since he's currently not under the contract, the Steelers can't trade him until the tender is signed.
If Bell isn't moved before the Oct. 30 trade deadline, he has until Nov. 13 to sign his tender in order to accrue a season toward free agency. So far, Bell has forfeited more than $3.4 million in salary by missing the first four games of the season.
It remains to be seen if a team is willing to pay such a hefty price for Bell's services. Any team that agreed to acquire him would have to have enough salary-cap space to absorb his nearly $10 million cap hit. There's also a chance Bell would only agree to a trade if he was guaranteed a long-term contract extension in the offseason that met his personal requirements.