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LeVeon Bell (AP Photo/File)

PITTSBURGH (AP) — The Le’Veon Bell watch is almost over for the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The star running back has until 4 p.m. on Tuesday afternoon to sign his one-year franchise tender and be eligible to play this season. Coach Mike Tomlin says the AFC North-leading Steelers (6-2-1) have not heard from Bell. But he added the team understands there is a business element to Bell’s decision to stay away.

They’ve been unable to come to terms on a new long-term contract in each of the past two offseasons. Bell, a two-time All-Pro, was scheduled to make $14.4 million this year under the terms of the franchise tag, but he’s already forfeited $8.5 million.

In his absence, the Steelers have won five straight games heading to Jacksonville on Sunday.

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