Pittsburgh Steelers were unable reach a long-term agreement with Le'Veon Bell, who will play under the exclusive franchise tag for the 2017 season.
No agreement was reached before Monday's deadline so the running back will play the upcoming campaign under Pittsburgh's tag for $12.1million, the team announced Monday.
"Unfortunately, we were unable to agree to terms on a long-term contract with Le'Veon Bell prior to today's [Monday's] deadline," general manager Kevin Colbert said.
"Le'Veon is scheduled to play this year under the exclusive franchise tag designation. We will resume our efforts to address his contract situation following the 2017 season."
The $12.1m Bell is scheduled to earn in 2017 is roughly $4m more than what LeSean McCoy will receive. McCoy is currently the highest-paid tailback in the league after he secured a five-year, $40m deal.
Investing in the 25-year-old has become a question for the Steelers since he has been plagued with injuries and suspensions, missing 16 games in his four-year career.
But Bell has been a productive member of the Steelers when he is on the field - last season, he ran for 1,268 yards and seven touchdowns.
The running back shone in week 14 last term, setting the franchise regular-season rushing record in a single game with 236 yards.