Not only did Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell not show up on Monday to sign his franchise tag like previous reports suggested he would, it now appears as though he won’t be showing up at any point during the team’s bye week.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN on Monday, the Steelers aren’t expecting Bell to return to the team this week. On Sunday, it was reported that the team had still yet to hear from Bell as to his future reporting plans.
Steelers are not expecting RB Le’Veon Bell to return to the team this week, per source. The Steelers are on their bye this week, the players are off Thursday through Sunday, so now the Bell watch begins for next Monday, Oct. 22.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) October 15, 2018
As Schefter reports, the Steelers being on their bye means the players will be off Thursday through Sunday. In short, that means that if Bell does not show up by Wednesday that next Monday, Oct. 22, would be the next logical date for him to show up to sign his franchise tag tender.
Even if Bell were to show up next Monday, one must wonder if he would be ready to play against the Cleveland Browns the following Sunday. The Steelers will likely ask for and receive a two week roster exemption for Bell when and if he finally shows up. The two sides will first have to come to an agreement as to how much the running back would possibly earn during those two weeks as part of Bell signing his franchise tag.
For now, the Steelers are probably fine with Bell remaining away as backup running back James Conner has been filling in admirably as a starter in his absence. The Steelers are also saving a little more than $850,000 a week every week that Bell stays away.
The annual NFL trade deadline is at the end of October. Additionally, Bell must sign his franchise tag by the start of Week 11 if wants to play this season.