Keep in mind they are voluntary but Le’Veon Bell was the only Pittsburgh Steeler not in attendance for Day One of OTAs. That was first reported by the PPG’s Ray Fittipaldo. Fittipaldo also grabbed a quote from Ben Roethlisberger about Bell’s absence and #7 wasn’t exactly thrilled to know his starting running back wasn’t at the facility.
Roethlisberger said he “[wished] he’d be here because he’s one of the pieces of the puzzle.” However, he was quick to point out he isn’t worried about chemistry.
And then there’s the obvious point. Bell is still rehabbing from offseason groin surgery and likely wouldn’t have done much – or anything – during the spring. He injured it early in the playoffs but attempted to push through it before finally bowing out early in the AFC Championship game against the New England Patriots.
There is also the matter of a long-term deal that could be worked out after the Steelers placed the franchise tag on Bell. It’s unclear if that is playing a factor in his decision. Dave Bryan wrote today not to be worried about the uncertain situation. It’s a good read and something I urge you to check out.
As long as Bell rehabs and gets healthy, he’ll show up soon enough and all will be forgotten by training camp, at which point he could have a long-term deal in hand. The deadline for he and the team to reach such a deal is July 15th, a little more than ten days before the start of camp.
We’ll keep you in the loop if Bell shows up during the week. He certainly isn’t the only high-profile player around the league not at his team’s OTAs. Aaron Donald, for example, skipped the first day, due to a contract dispute. The Steelers’ OTAs run through June 8th.
Even with Martavis Bryant’s return, the team will have to wait a little bit longer to have all their Killer B’s on the field at the same time.