Bell, 3 others fail to get long-term deals before franchise tag deadline
Justin K. Aller / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell was one of four players who watched the 4 p.m. ET franchise tag deadline come and go without signing a multi-year deal.

The 26-year-old Bell will need to play the 2018 season on a one-year pact that will pay him a fully guaranteed $14.544 million. He'll carry the league's top cap hit among running backs for the second year in a row - this time by more than $6 million - after playing under a $12.12-million franchise tag in 2017.

Last season, Bell didn't sign the tender and report to the team until Sept. 1. He still went on to rank third in rushing yards (1,291) and touchdowns (nine) in the NFL, while adding 655 yards and two more scores as a receiver in 15 games.

Shortly after the deadline passed, Bell tweeted an apology to his fans for letting them down, while promising that 2018 would be his best season to date.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Rams' lavish offseason spending came to a halt at safety Lamarcus Joyner, who'll earn roughly $11.3 million on the one-year franchise tag. The 2014 second-round pick recorded three interceptions and scored a touchdown in the final year of his rookie deal.

After racking up 14.5 sacks in 2017 and earning the first Pro Bowl appearance of his career, Dallas Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence, who was reportedly seeking a five-year deal, had to settle for the one year tag.

And the Detroit Lions weren't able to reach a deal with defensive end Ezekiel Ansah, the fifth overall choice in the 2013 draft. He holds career totals of 44 sacks and 10 forced fumbles in 73 games.

Lawrence and Ansah will each earn $17.143 million under the tag in 2018, according to Spotrac, tying them for the largest cap hits among defensive ends in the league.

Bell is the only player of the four who's yet to sign his one-year tender.

All of them must wait until after their respective team's final regular-season game in 2018 to sign an extension, or wait until the conclusion of the league year to test free agency.

Bell, 3 others fail to get long-term deals before franchise tag deadline
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