Published: Wed, November 14, 2018
Sports | By Phillip Butler

Steelers star Le’Veon Bell to sit out full season

Steelers star Le’Veon Bell to sit out full season

Time has run out for Le'Veon Bell to report to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the running back now has given up the 2018 National Football League season.

Bell, though, decided against it. and will now forfeit ALL of the $14.5 MILLION the Steelers were set to pay him this season.

All season Tomlin stressed he was focused on the players in the locker room and not the ones outside it and hardly seems bothered by Pittsburgh's quest for a post-season berth without the talented 26-year-old Bell. James Conner's been killin' it in Bell's stead - and teammates have ripped the RB for his holdout throughout the past few months. But he added the team understands there is a business element to Bell's decision to stay away.

When asked what happens if Bell never returns to the Steelers, coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday afternoon, "So be it".

"So be it", Tomlin said. Only time will tell where Bell will end up and if a year away from the game will have a significant impact on him.

The Steelers drafted Bell with the 48th overall pick in the 2013 draft, won over by his youth, size and versatility. At the time, the threat felt hollow largely because of Bell's 2018 payday: a one-season fully guaranteed deal of $14.5 million.

The makeover relied heavily on Bell, whose patient running style became his trademark while helping Pittsburgh to four straight playoff berths. But it won't be long until his free agency saga begins.

As his star rose, Bell insisted he wasn't merely a running back, pointing to his success as a receiver - he finished 10th in the league with 85 catches in 2017 - as proof that he should be paid far above his peers. Bell held out the entire summer as the two sides failed to agree to an extension.

The Steelers explored dealing Bell before the October 30 trade deadline, but no deal was possible without his signature.

Players were surprised when Bell didn't show for Week 1, with his own offensive line ripping him for the absence.

Bell's saga with the Steelers is over. Instead, Bell made good on a threat he made almost 11 months ago, when he said he would consider sitting out the season if the team kept him from free agency via a second franchise tag.

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