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Le'Veon Bell won't report to Pittsburgh Steelers

14 November, 2018, 01:49 | Author: Lula Armstrong
  • Current Titan Malcolm Butler in his Patriots days. More

Tweeted ESPN's Adam Schefter: "Le'Veon Bell is not reporting to the Steelers by the 4 pm deadline today and is now ineligible to play the remainder of the 2018 season, source tells ESPN". The flip side is that Bell won't enter free agency with an injury.

A three-time Pro Bowl selection and two-time first-team All-Pro, Bell is the first player to sit out an entire season on the franchise tag since Washington Redskins defensive lineman Sean Gilbert in 1997.

Regardless of what happens next offseason, it has drawn a curtain on the Bell drama that has dragged on in Pittsburgh all season long as speculation has swirled for months about when he would rejoin the Steelers.

The Steelers will move forward with second-year back James Conner as the starter. Although there were reports saying the team expected him to report after its bye week, hope the 26-year-old would show up dwindled, and Bell's teammates grew exhausted of his holdout.

When asked what happens if Bell never returns to the Steelers, coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday afternoon, "So be it".


The Steelers drafted Bell with the 48th overall pick in the 2013 draft, won over by his youth, size and versatility.

The Steelers won't franchise tag him again, because a third tag would cost more than $25 million. Conner suffered a concussion in Thursday's win over the Panthers, but is expected to clear protocol this week. His teammates stressed it was no big deal, confident Bell would show up in time for the regular-season opener. That's a moot point now.

Bell produced almost 2,000 total yards previous year but started slowly, averaging 3.46 yards per carry through the first three weeks of the season.

The makeover relied heavily on Bell, whose patient running style became his trademark while helping Pittsburgh to four straight playoff berths.

"I've told you guys and I've told you guys consistently, a reaction comes from me if and when he walks in the door", Tomlin said. "We know he's back in Pittsburgh, and so we're hoping to have some communications with him over the weekend, and we're kind of expecting he will be back next week".

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