Will Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell report to the team and sign his franchise tag tender by the weekend. According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the latest scuttlebutt on Bell is that he will report to the Steelers on Saturday and not play in the team’s Week 1 Sunday road game against the Cleveland Browns.
“Le’Veon Bell and his agent Adisa Bakari have not informed the Steelers of any plans as far as when he’s going to report,” Rapoport explained. “And Bell, himself, has not told any of his teammates, which certainly would explain why everyone in this situation appears miffed. But from the best I can tell from the people involved in this, their estimate is, their guess is, that Bell will show up on Saturday.
“That is what it is looking like. He would be in the building, he would receive is $800,000 plus game check, not play week-one and then get ready for week-two. Plus, that would actually job with what he tweeted right in the middle of July, right after franchise tag day, after he did not accept the five year, $70 million dollar offer, that he would be there week one.”
As the world waits for #Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell, there is no indication when he'll show up. A Saturday arrival would allow him to receive his game check, but there is no clear evidence that he's made plans to do that. pic.twitter.com/1ohfkRMgjJ
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) September 6, 2018
Rapoport also added what most of us have been saying for a while in regard to Bell and that is that the Steelers won’t be trading him nor will they be rescinding the franchise tag.
“Now, there’s a couple of other things we need to know as well. The Steelers are not going to trade him, there’s been no requests, there has been no permission to talk to anyone, that is not going to happen at this point,” Rapoport said. “They’re not going to rescind the franchise tag for Bell. He is going to play for the Steelers and it’s just a matter of when and everyone is in the dark.”
Bell signing his tag on Saturday, should that ultimately be what happens, would still likely result in the Steelers receiving a two-week roster exemption for him and obviously he would likely stay on that list through the weekend. For Bell to play in the Steelers second game, he would likely be added top the 53-man roster a week from Saturday.
For now,. we’ll have to wait and see if Bell reports Saturday morning and then travels with the team to Cleveland later in the day.
After the team’s Thursday practice, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin wouldn’t really comment on what Bell’s agent said Wednesday about his client’s usage in 2018 or anything else that he said, for that matter.
Tomlin said he has maintained the same stance regarding Bell since the beginning of training camp and that nothing has changed.
“I’ve been very thoughtful about my words, I’ve been very thoughtful about my approach with the staff in terms of our planning, with the players, with you guys,” Tomlin said. “I didn’t want to get into speculation and I didn’t want to waste time and energy because it’s just that, it’s a waste of time. I told you guys initially when we opened training camp that the two most important variables was when he showed up and once he showed up, the condition that he was in.
“Until that time, we were going to remain focused on those that were working and their preparation. And so that remains the same, that has been our approach and appropriately so, because now we’re not riding this wave, we’re preparing to play a football game with those that have been here and working and I just believe that that’s the right way to approach it.
“When he gets here, the level of conditioning and overall readiness, those equations that we’ll weigh once he gets here. Until that time, this is where our focus is. So nothing has changed from my perspective, or our perspective, based on what’s transpired in the last number of days. Zero.”