Sources: Bell not expected to show by deadline

Sources: Bell not expected to show by deadline

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Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is unlikely to report to the team by Tuesday’s deadline, multiple league sources tell ESPN.

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 repeatedly has declined to address with reporters his plans for this week.

As the team and its fans await Tuesday’s deadline, by which Bell must report by 4 p.m. ET or be ineligible to play for the remainder of the season, it is worth remembering what the Pro Bowl back said last January.

Ten months ago, Bell, 26, said he “definitely would consider” sitting out the 2018 season or retiring if the Steelers used the franchise tag on him for a second straight season. The Steelers did. There are no indications that Bell will report by the deadline.

By sitting out this season, Bell ostensibly has been trying to preserve his value and body, allowing James Conner (771 yards on 164 carries and 10 touchdowns) to get the work in the Steelers’ backfield that he would have. Conner, who averages 4.7 yards per carry, is on pace for close to 300 carries, similar to what Bell had last season. It is wear and tear that Bell seemingly did not want to absorb as he gets ready to become a free agent.

Despite Steelers owner Art Rooney telling Sirius XM Radio on Thursday that he expected Bell to report by Tuesday, Bell has skipped every chance he’s had to report, including during Pittsburgh’s recent bye week, when he could have collected $855,000 just for being on the roster.

Bell did not report hours before the Steelers’ Thursday night win over Carolina, when he could have collected another $855,000 for playing in the game. He has bypassed the chance to make more than $8.5 million and could make only $6 million more if he were to report by Tuesday.

But the reason he has been willing to forgo all of this so far is the reason that multiple people do not expect to see Bell this week, or this season, either. And if Bell doesn’t report by Tuesday, which is now the belief, then his Steelers’ career would be unofficially over.

NFL News

via http://www.espn.com – NFL http://www.espn.com

November 10, 2018 at 05:10PM

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