Le’Veon Bell Unlikely To Report To Steelers, Will Miss 2018 Season

Le’Veon Bell is unlikely to report to the Steelers before Tuesday’s deadline and as a result will not play in 2018, sources told Adam Schefter of ESPN. Schefter writes that “even as the Steelers now brace to lose their marquee running back for the entire year, Bell’s camp continues to maintain its cone of silence” and has not informed the Steelers one way or another what his intentions are.

That being said, Schefter writes “there are no indications that Bell will report by the deadline”, and that “the belief” is that Bell’s Steelers career is “unofficially over.” With this news, it sounds like the saga surrounding Bell is over and the football world finally has its answer. The question of when Bell would show up became the biggest story in the NFL in 2018, and has dominated headlines all season long.

Confirmation of Schefter’s report came soon after from Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, who tweeted “the team is not expecting their star RB to play for them this season” and that “the belief is Bell will stay away & await free agency.” Many assumed Bell would end his holdout and return to the team once the season started, but with each passing week it became more and more clear how serious Bell was about not playing under the franchise tag.

In Bell’s absence, Steelers running back James Conner has emerged and developed into one of the league’s top backs. With it safe to assume the Steelers won’t pursue Bell in free agency, the question now becomes where Bell will land in 2019. Teams like the Buccaneers and Jets have been frequently brought up in discussions, and should be considered two of the likeliest possible destinations. Bell will likely be seeking a deal greater than the one Todd Gurley got from the Rams, which gave him roughly $60MM over four years.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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42 comments on “Le’Veon Bell Unlikely To Report To Steelers, Will Miss 2018 Season

  1. sportsfan101

    I really hope his antics hurt him in FA, I get where he’s coming from but why do athletes whose jobs have no relevance to this country get to do this, while anyone else in the country decides they won’t work in order to make more gets fired? Smh

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    • TalonBfromTn

      If he doesn’t report, he doesn’t get to be a free agent.

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      • sameichel

        Yeah he does it just will be via restricted free agency

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      • kahnkobra

        some language in his contract was discovered that allows him to become a FA even if he never reports

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      • kahnkobra

        some language in his contract was discovered that allows him to become a FA even if he never reports. Unrestricted FA

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        • srs0203

          Kind of true. He won’t automatically be a free agent, but kind of will. The Steelers can technically franchise tag him again in the offseason, but they discovered it would count as his third tag and the price will be nearly $25m. Obviously they won’t tag him at $25m so they will let him walk and he will be a free agent.

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    • Hannibal8us

      Mostly because if you don’t like your job you can leave and find another. Athletes can’t do that, add in most of them being lucky to make it 7 years and how negatively it impacts their long term health it’s hard to be upset when they do stuff like this. That being said Laveon could have handled the situation way better than he did.

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        • Hannibal8us

          Not if it nearly guaranteed you brain damage and knee problems by 50. Why side with billionaire owners instead with employees making a fraction of that?

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          • sgord03

            Yup. Most profitable league in sports and can’t even guarantee players contracts.

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          • kahnkobra

            so more money makes it ok to have a destroyed brain and shot knees?

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            • JJB0811

              Who is making them play? Its their choice. The 49’ers LB walked after 1 year.

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              • jb19

                Exactly. Find another job if you are going to remind everyone that football is dangerous and you won’t play unless you can get $40 million guaranteed

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    • tsolid

      Yea… just wait til New England comes calling and Belichek takes the best players away. That EXTRA offensive threat would definitely help.

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      • TJECK109

        LOL LOL LOL LOL. By far the funniest thing I’ve read today. Bell could care less about rings. He wants the big $$$$$. Pats aren’t going to pay him want he wants. Dumb post.

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        • va_yinzer

          Extremely dumb post. I expect better from tsolid.

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    • TJECK109

      He will only be restricted if the Steelers use the transition tag. Which if they use and he is allowed to walk they will not receive pick compensation. He will be a free agent plain and simple.

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    • maximumvelocity

      Bell fulfilled his contract. He played once already on the franchise tag. But because the NFL allows players to be tagged unlimited times, he was again denied the opportunity to be a free agent. It irritating that fans get upset at bell for simply wanting to be a free agent, but gleefully cheer on owners who get paid to do nothing. If the Steelers didn’t want to pay him, they could have rescinded the tag. They still could. They are the ones being petty.

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    • gozurman1

      Athletes are no different than any other person who is in the entertainment business. Actors and actresses and music entertainment stars all negotiate for their services too. Music stars pullout of tour dates all the time and leave hundreds of thousands on the table too. Actors and actresses pull out of films or tv shows and leave money on the table as well.

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      • srs0203

        Except for that part where the players union negotiated and agreed to the franchise tag. They’re not hostages.

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  2. steelman

    6-2-1 without him..Enough said that Conner is the man and bell can continue playing basketball somewhere..
    Hope it works out for him but history of Steeler players leaving for money hasn’t worked out well.

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    • crosseyedlemon

      If Pro Football Rumors handed out comment awards at the end of the year this one would get my vote.

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  3. tcro6

    If a team gives him more money than Gurley I think they will end up regretting it!

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  4. Thronson5

    I’d like to see my 9ers sign him, they can release “Jet” McKinnon. I love Breada and I say keep him but they have the money to sign Bell and they should. They need some stars on that offense, they have some good played but no true star players that can change the game. I think they should also either draft or sign a WR. Need to address WR and O Line in the draft and or free agency and need to figure out a edge rusher.

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    • jschnitzler23

      We need a lot more before we prioritize an expensive RB. OLine, Edge, Secondary, WR…

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  5. madmanTX

    Bell is a real tool to play the games he has been playing if he intends to sit out the season. Why not stay in Miami then? Why show up in Pittsburgh at all? Came to clean out his locker and pick up his weed stash? Just to be a baby and taunt the Steelers?

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  6. mitchrapp

    Bell will get paid but it will be with a sub 500 team with no O-line he’ll take a beating and won’t even sniff the playoffs, but he’ll be paid. No greatness, no HOF.

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    • SuperSinker

      The NFL is a machine that spits out disfigured humans. It’s completely understandable to want to collect as much money as you can before you get Earl Thomas’d.

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      • Rondon

        “As much money as you can” is a relative term. Which would’ve been the smart move? Accept the franchise tag (that would make you the most possible $ for this season) and maintain a good rep? Or sit out and believe that you’ll get paid like the best in the league, when all you’ve really done in the eyes of every GM and owner in the game, is to establish that you’re a me first malcontent who could care less about ‘team’. Yes, get paid, but ego earns you nothing.

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  7. natsfan3437

    It would be funny if he doesn’t show up and gets franchised tagged again.

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    • Chris

      lol a spite tag would be kinda funny but the Steelers seem above that

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      • tylerall5

        Not only that it would hurt their cap structure.

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  8. dust44

    If I were the Steelers I would 100% tag him again next year. Then trade him for a pick. 3rd/4th rounder would b better then anything. Just to prove a point. And send him to some basement dweller. Miami or the Bills. That would b funny

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    • gozurman1

      If they just let him go they get a third rounder.

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    • elscorcho the marlin
      elscorcho the marlin

      Miami is 5-4. Not really, in the basement.

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    • gozurman1

      If they let him go as a free agent, they get a 3rd round comp pick

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    • Miklo916

      He would have sign tag to get traded that’s why he wasn’t traded at the deadline

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  9. Mack83

    Glad to finally know I wasted a draft pick in Fantasty Football league. Thanks, Bell.

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    • SuperSinker

      First rule of fantasy sports: nobody cares about your fantasy team.

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