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Le'Veon Bell, not Steelers, to blame for contract standoff, fans say

Joe Rutter
| Tuesday, July 18, 2017, 1:30 p.m.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell watches from the sideline as he waits for the end of the AFC championship NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots won 36-17 to advance to the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell watches from the sideline as he waits for the end of the AFC championship NFL football game against the New England Patriots, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2017, in Foxborough, Mass. The Patriots won 36-17 to advance to the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Le'Veon Bell has shown he can shed tacklers, but can he run past the growing number of fans upset that he didn't sign a long-term contract with the Steelers before Monday's 4 p.m. deadline and may sit out at least part of training camp?

Judging by a sampling of social media comments, Bell is to blame for the two sides failing to reach an agreement, which means the Pro Bowl running back will play on a one-year, $12.12 million contract for the 2017 season.

Facebook reaction to the Tribune-Review's coverage Monday of the failed contract negotiations seemed to put Bell in the cross-hairs, although the Steelers didn't escape their share of scrutiny.

Fans appeared to focus their ire on Bell's arrest during his rookie season for marijuana that has contributed to two suspensions and his history of being injured in the playoffs.

Wrote Peter Fiehrer of Chicago:

Added fan Todd Kinkus:

Bell didn't help his cause with blue-collar fans when he told ESPN that, "I'm not in a rush to sign for something I'm not valued at if I feel I'm worth more than what they are offering me."

Bell also seemed to take a shot at the Steelers when he wrote on his verified Twitter account that "I guess I just gotta get better..." It was a statement he echoed on Snapchat and Instagram.

The response to Bell's Twitter post was harsh:

And when it was suggested by the media that since Bell has not signed his franchise tender, he might not report for training camp, the heat kept coming:

The Steelers, of course, weren't absolved of any blame on social media.

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