Steelers will allow Le’Veon Bell to become a free agent and explore trading Antonio Brown

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert did not rule out keeping Brown if he can't find fair value in a trade.

Pittsburgh Steelers Antonio Brown Le'Veon Bell
Antonio Brown and Le’Veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers celebrate a touchdown in a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Heinz Field on Oct. 22, 2017, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Justin Berl / Getty Images) –Justin Berl / Getty Images

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PITTSBURGH (AP) — Le’Veon Bell’s time in Pittsburgh is over. Antonio Brown’s potential departure isn’t quite so certain.

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert says the team will not place a transition or franchise tag on Bell, meaning the star running back will become a free agent next month. Colbert said the team did not want to potentially tie up millions by placing a tag on Bell, who sat out all of 2018 after declining to sign his one-year tender last spring.

The Steelers will explore trade options for Brown, but Colbert did not completely rule out Brown’s possible return in 2019 if the team can’t find fair value for the four-time All-Pro. Colbert said the team will not devalue Brown and will not release him under any circumstances.