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INDIANAPOLIS — The Pittsburgh Steelers are doubling down on optimism over a Le’Veon Bell contract.

The Steelers have spoken to Bell’s reps at the NFL combine here to “try to figure out common ground” for a long-term deal, general manager Kevin Colbert told reporters Wednesday.

Colbert said he hopes a deal is reached by March 6, the last day for designating a franchise player. Bell’s franchise number is around $14.5 million for 2018.

In 2017, the Steelers placed an exclusive tag on Bell on Feb. 26. There was less optimism over an extension then, and he ended up playing for one year at $12.1 million.

Colbert and team president Art Rooney have publicly stated they want the star running back to retire a Steeler, and Bell has too.

Bell’s per-game average of 129 yards from scrimmage since 2013 is the most by an NFL player in the first five years of a career since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger.

“I don’t like to get into too much detail,” Colbert said about the deal. “I can say that I am optimistic that we can find common ground. Those things are never final until they are final. Until we reach an agreement we don’t have anything right now.”

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Tennessee Titans shipping Isaiah Wilson to Miami Dolphins

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The Tennessee Titans have agreed to trade Isaiah Wilson, their first-round pick last year, to the Miami Dolphins, sources told ESPN on Monday.

The Titans will send a seventh-round pick in 2022 and Wilson to Miami for a 2021 seventh-rounder to complete the deal, sources said.

Wilson will need to pass his physical in Miami once the new league year begins next week for the trade to be officially completed. If he doesn’t, he would revert back to the Titans.

Tennessee signed Wilson, the 29th overall selection in last April’s draft, to a four-year, $11.6 million contract in August. His time in Tennessee didn’t get off to a good start, prompting the team to move on from him less than a year later.

The right tackle out of the University of Georgia played only four snaps in his rookie season, which culminated in him being placed on the non-football injury list in December. Before that, Wilson found himself on the reserve/COVID-19 list twice last year, during training camp and in October.

He also had a couple of run-ins with the law.

The first incident came when Tennessee State police broke up an off-campus party that Wilson had attended during training camp. In their report, the police documented that Wilson went to the second-floor balcony, where he appeared to briefly consider jumping. He received a trespass warning.

The second incident occurred when Wilson was arrested and charged with a DUI in September when he lost control of his vehicle and struck a concrete wall.

Titans general manager Jon Robinson addressed Wilson’s status during a virtual news conference last month, telling reporters he had not spoken to him since putting him on the NFI list and suggesting that Wilson “makes a determination on whether he wants to do what it takes to play pro football.”

The Dolphins, meanwhile, are buying low on Wilson. They liked him leading up to the 2020 NFL draft and he could have been a candidate for a Day 2 pick by the team, a source told ESPN. Now the Dolphins are taking virtually a free chance to help him revive his NFL career.

Wilson played at Poly Prep Country Day School in Brooklyn, where Dolphins coach Brian Flores attended high school. Wilson also attended Georgia with Dolphins guard Solomon Kindley.

Miami now hopes those connections will help get more out of Wilson than Tennessee did.

NFL Network first reported the trade agreement Monday.

ESPN’s Dianna Russini and Cameron Wolfe contributed to this report.

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Washington Football Team places franchise tag on Brandon Scherff

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Washington has placed the franchise tag on right guard Brandon Scherff for a second consecutive year, the team announced Monday night.

Scherff will receive $18.03 million in the 2021 season — a 20% increase over last season. But Washington still hopes to sign him to a long-term deal. It has until July 15 to do so, and a source described talks so far as amicable.

Scherff, who turned 29 in December, played on the franchise tag last season, earning $15.03 million. He also became the first Washington player to be named first team All-Pro since punter Matt Turk in 1996. Scherff has made four Pro Bowls, including the past two.

Coaches liked how Scherff played inside, but also how well he blocked on the move in the screen game.

But injuries also have been an issue. Scherff hasn’t played all 16 games since 2016 and has missed a combined 18 games the past four years. He ended up on injured reserve in 2017 and ’18.

Washington selected Scherff with the fifth overall pick in the 2015 draft, intending to try him at right tackle first. But Washington moved him to right guard early in his first camp and started Morgan Moses at tackle, creating a strong tandem on the right side.

While at Iowa, Scherff was named the Outland Trophy winner in 2014 as the nation’s best offensive lineman.

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Traffic case closed, as Las Vegas Raiders’ Josh Jacobs completes community service, lawyers say

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LAS VEGAS — A traffic case involving Las Vegas Raiders player Josh Jacobs was closed Monday after he completed community service and paid a fine stemming from a vehicle crash in January near McCarran International Airport, his lawyers said.

The 23-year-old running back mentored at a Boys & Girls Club and paid a $500 fine to resolve a failure to exercise due care traffic violation, said his attorneys, David Chesnoff and Richard Schonfeld.

Jacobs received several stitches for a cut forehead and was initially also charged with driving under the influence after the 2019 Acura NSX he was driving crashed early Jan. 4 into a tunnel wall at the Las Vegas airport.

The DUI charge was dropped a week later because Jacobs’ blood-alcohol level did not reach the 0.08% level needed to pursue the case, his attorneys and a prosecutor said.

Jacobs, who lives in Las Vegas, was alone in the vehicle after returning to Las Vegas from Denver, where the Raiders defeated the Broncos in their final NFL regular-season game less than 12 hours before the crash.

A team representative did not immediately respond Monday to an email message about the case.

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