While we certainly dont know for sure, it sounds like Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is leaving Miami and quite possibly making his way back to rejoin the team.
On Monday, Bell bid Miami farewell on his social media accounts.
Under the terms of the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, Bell must report to the Steelers by Tuesday Nov. 13 at 4 p.m. or he will be ineligible to play for the remainder of the 2018 season. In short, it would not be a huge surprise if Bell were to go back home to Ohio to check in with family and maybe catch the Ohio State versus Michigan State game on Saturday before reporting to the Steelers next week.
Even if Bell were to report to the Steelers this week, he’d almost certainly not play in the team’s Thursday night game against the Carolina Panthers. Additionally, Bell will likely spend his first two weeks back with the team on the roster exempt list.
Bell has already forfeited $7,699,761 of the $14.544 million he was scheduled to earn this season under the franchise tag by sitting out the first nine weeks of the regular season. He’s currently well on his way to forfeiting another $855,529 this week.
Assuming Bell does finally show up to sign his franchise tag tender by next Tuesday, it will be interesting to see how he’s used on offense moving forward into the season being as backup running back James Conner has done an excellent job of replacing him in the first eight games.
Prior to the Steelers Sunday road game against the Baltimore Ravens, head coach Mike Tomlin seemingly took a public shot at the AWOL Bell during a pregame interview with ESPN.
“We hadn’t spent a lot of time focused on it because it’s not within our control,” Tomlin said when asked by Dianna Russini if the team even needs Bell back considering the way Conner has filled in for him. “Those decisions are Le’veon’s. We need volunteers, not hostages. We’re focused on the guys that are here and working and James is definitely in that mix. We’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.”
So, will that bridge finally require crossing in the next seven days? Stay tuned.