Latest On Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell

Despite reports that running back Le’Veon Bell would report to the Steelers in advance of their Week 7 bye, Pittsburgh has yet to hear from Bell himself and is unsure of his plans, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com.

Bell, of course, is holding out to express displeasure with being franchise-tagged for the second consecutive season. When he does report and sign his tender, Bell will earn a prorated portion of a one-year, $14.544MM salary. However, if Bell were to report during the Steelers’ bye week, Pittsburgh could hypothetically deploy a roster exemption, which would enable the club to withhold pay from Bell during that week, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

Bell didn’t participate in any offseason activities with the Steelers, so he hasn’t been present with the team since January. Indeed, one Pittsburgh teammate said it would be “weird” if Bell does report this week, specifically because of Bell’s long absence, tweets Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com. Last week, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger campaigned for James Conner, who’s been filling in admirably at running back, to retain a role even once Bell returns.

“I will push for James to get as much run as we can because we’ve seen some great things from him in all phases of football,” Roethlisberger said. “He’s picking up blitzes, he’s catching the ball, he’s running hard and making plays and playing with a passion, so we need to keep using that.”

Bell could still possibly be traded, as the Steelers have reportedly been shopping him in recent weeks. However, the Eagles, who were viewed as a leading contender for Bell, don’t believe running back is a glaring area of need. If Bell doesn’t want to be dealt, he would simply wait to sign his franchise tag until after the October 30 trade deadline, as unsigned players cannot be moved, as Joel Corry of CBSSports.com tweets.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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7 comments on “Latest On Steelers RB Le’Veon Bell

  1. madmanTX

    If Bell shows after the trading deadline, he better be ready to play every down. And if he tries that “my hamstring feels tight” crap, suspend him without pay.

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    • Decius

      I don’t know how familiar you are with the CBA, but you can’t do that. That would actually be a horrible precedent to set. Guys could suffer really bad injuries and be suspended. Have to be far across the board, no matter how much it sucks. Trust me, I understand how you feel. I supervise at a workplace with a union. They can be absolutely ridiculous many times.

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  2. connfyoozed

    There’s been no reason for the Steelers to hear from Bell over the last couple of weeks. Frankly, I’m glad he’s been quiet, maybe the lack of distraction has helped the team focus a little more. Now if he hasn’t reported by the end of the upcoming bye week, then maybe we have a story.

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    • crosseyedlemon

      The Steelers have moved on from Bell so there is no point in him reporting.

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