Sports

Le'Veon Bell won't report to Pittsburgh Steelers

Le'Veon Bell won't report to Pittsburgh Steelers

Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert released a brief statement regarding today's development that reads, "I want to confirm that Le'Veon Bell did not sign his Franchise Tender today and, as a result, he will not be eligible to play football during the 2018 season".

Bell is set to hit free agency in March.

The Steelers will have the option to designate Bell as their franchise player again this offseason, but the one-year salary tied to Bell's third straight franchise tag is expected to exceed $25 million, a payout believed to be far too prohibitive for a Pittsburgh return.

Bell, who's now in Pittsburgh, is missing the season to preserve his long-term viability for a 2019 contract despite telling ESPN on October 1 that he would play in 2018. In his absence, second-year running back James Conner has thrived, totaling 1,158 yards and 11 touchdowns from scrimmage in nine games as the Steelers have emerged as frontrunners in the AFC North. But he added the team understands there is a business element to Bell's decision to stay away.

"So be it", Tomlin said. Along with wide receiver Antonio Brown, Bell became the linchpin in which the Steelers rebuilt themselves on the fly as the franchise's identity shifted from away from the defence that fueled three Super Bowl appearances in six years from 2005-2010 toward an offence that ranked among the most dynamic in the league. If he signed a lucrative deal elsewhere, the Steelers would receive a midround compensatory draft pick.

Jose Mourinho Knows What He's Doing With Fred, Man Utd Legend Insists
Jose Mourinho has revealed why Manchester United's game plan fell apart against fierce rivals Manchester City . "I don't know. It was a brilliantly constructed goal that is likely to go down as one of the greatest in Manchester derby history.

Bell's season-long holdout potentially could be risky. Bell's average of 128.9 total yards per game from 2013 to 2017 is the highest for an NFL back over the first five seasons of a career since the NFL-AFL merger in 1970.

The Steelers explored dealing Bell before the October 30 trade deadline, but no deal was possible without his signature. Bell held out the entire summer as the two sides failed to agree to an extension. But this time, Bell didn't show up in September.

It's as close to breaking a sweat with the Steelers as Bell will get.

A more likely scenario would be for the Steelers to place the transition tag on Bell.


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