The Steelers and Bell are in this situation because, for the second straight year, the parties couldn't agree on Bell's worth before the July 16 deadline to reach a long-term deal with franchise-tagged players. What would you do with that hypothetical player? I'm kinda pissed right now. It sucks that he's not here.
It feels now more than ever that this will not end well in Pittsburgh, and there's even the chance that the team moves on from him completely before he reports. Both parties look dumb but case and point is that there is a better way for both sides to handle this.
Veteran offensive guard Ramon Foster poked a little fun at Bell on social media, tweeting out a picture of Bell's head attached to the body of the character from the "Where's Waldo" line of children's books.
"I just felt confident that he was gonna come", center Maurkice Pouncey said Wednesday.
Some Steelers players are starting to get restless with the holdout, but Bell is going to do what's best for his long-term future. However, the Steelers could always place the $14.54 million franchise tag on him again in 2019.
Who will be out there on Sunday on the field with Roethlisberger still is somewhat of a gray area as Le'Veon Bell has yet to report and sign his franchise tender. Bell didn't show up Wednesday, the first practice day ahead of Sunday's Week 1 game in Cleveland.
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Those comments made their way quickly to Bell, it appears. They're now letting him know that.
Speaking on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Wednesday, Bell's agent, Adisa Bakari, implied that the 26-year-old could sit out well into the season. But don't expect Conner to be ticketed for 28 or 27 touches per game, which were Bell's averages in 2016 and 2017, respectively.
"So I'd like to say that the linemen are more important than any skill position player, including myself, on this team".
One of the possible solutions is already on the Steelers roster in second-year back James Conner. We've got a lot of weapons. At the same time, he does not want to get run into the ground in Pittsburgh's offense. "I think he gets to his spot really quick, which is awesome for a quarterback".
The Steelers do contracts a certain way and he knows this and has known since well before these last two years. "You do those things and all the dominoes fall", Tomlin says.
Whatever Bell's plan is, he isn't telling.