As of Tuesday morning, Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell has still yet to report to the team’s facility to sign his franchise tender. Because of that, Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin was asked during his Tuesday press conference if he expects Bell to report on Wednesday ahead of the team’s practice.
“I hadn’t thought about it,” Tomlin said. “We’ll see. Much like I’ve told you guys throughout this process, when he gets here, that’s when we’ll start quantifying all Le’Veon Bell-related things, his overall readiness, the amount of time that we have between his arrival and our next competition, et Cetera, et Cetera.
“We’ll weigh all of those things at the appropriate time. Right now, we’re just singularly focused on the guys that are here and working and have been here and working and kind of building a plan around variables that we know. That’s the appropriate thing.”
Tomlin was then asked to describe what all will go into the process of quantifying Bell-related things and his overall readiness once the running back does finally report to the team.
“Again, I’ll answer that when he gets here,” Tomlin said. “I’ve given you the variables, we’ll see.”
Not surprisingly, Tomlin was asked if he’s had any recent communication with Bell.
“I have not, no,” Tomlin said.
Tomlin was later asked if the team has already applied for a two week roster exemption for Bell like they did last year when he reported for duty and signed his franchise tag just ahead of the team’s Week 1 game against the Cleveland Browns.
“I’m sure we have, organizationally, I’ve just been focused on preparing the group that’s here and putting together a good plan,” Tomlin said.
We’ll now wait and see if Bell arrives on Wednesday like Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey suggested he would on Monday when he was asked if he knew when the running back would ultimately show up. As for Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and his current knowledge of Bell’s whereabouts and reporting plans, he said Tuesday during an interview on 93.7 The Fan that he didnt know what was going on with the running back right now.
“You know what, I don’t think many people have,” Roethlisberger said Tuesday when asked if he’s talked to Bell recently. “I know some coaches have tried to reach out, players have tried to reach out, and I think he’s just kind of kept his quiet and his distance. I don’t know too many guys that have heard from him. I spoke to him before camp, but that’s about it.”
On Monday, Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert released a short statement in which he said the organization is currently disappointing that Bell has yet to arrive to sign his franchise tag tender. We’ll now sit and wait to see if Wednesday is when the Bell will toll in Pittsburgh.