Tuesday’s deadline for Le’Veon Bell to report to the Pittsburgh Steelers in order for 2018 to count as an accrued season is approaching rapidly. And not surprisingly, there’s still no sign of the star running back. With Bell set to potentially sit out the entire year now, it seems Steelers coach Mike Tomlin is just fine with that at this point.
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo spoke to Tomlin, who was open about the topic of Bell, stating that if he never shows up, then “so be it.”
“I’ve told you guys consistently a reaction comes from me if and when he walks in the door.” If he never walks in? “So be it.” Tomlin told Garafolo.
Tomlin’s mindset is certainly the right one to have currently. It’s not expected that Bell will arrive by the 4 p.m. EST deadline on Tuesday, even though Steelers president Art Rooney was seemingly holding out hope late last week.
Rooney spoke to Sirius XM radio, stating the following:
“I don’t know what his plans are, but I would say that at this point we expect him to come back next week. We know he’s back in Pittsburgh, so we’re hoping to have some communications with him over the weekend. We’re kind of expecting he’ll be back next week.”
Although Rooney may be optimistic, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Bell is unlikely to show up, making him ineligible to play for the remainder of the 2018 NFL season.
Le’Veon Bell Set to Play for New Team in 2019
This past week a surprising bit of info was revealed by NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero. The analyst stated that Bell’s next tag from the Steelers would come at the quarterback salary number this time, per NFL.com’s Austin Knoblauch. In turn, the cost to tag him a third time would be roughly $25 million, a number Pelissero reports the team will not choose to pay.
“It would be extremely unlikely for the Steelers to put that higher third franchise tag on Le’Veon Bell. That would set up a scenario where they’d tag him a third time, the number is upwards of $25 million and Bell, if he wanted to, could walk in the day he’s tagged, sign it and be owed $25 million for one season.” Pelissero stated.
It’s tough to gauge where Bell will land next season, but there are a few landing spots for the running back which make a lot of sense.