What you missed Wednesday, with Le'Veon Bell still holding out

Posted September 06, 2018

A source told ESPN that the Steelers have no plans to rescind Bell's tender, and league sources say a trade would be hard to execute because of Bell's position and teams' unwillingness to inherit a franchise-tagged player.

The Steelers have the option of doing so.

Bell has not signed a $14.5 million tender as the team's designated franchise player, and it's unclear when he plans to return to the team.

Le'Veon Bell continues to hold out from the Steelers, and the star running back's availability for Sunday's game at FirstEnergy Stadium is in real doubt. "This is a team unit and that's how we play ball". You've got to face the criticism.

Maurkice Pouncey sounds like he's over the whole thing, telling NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala: "Why play hide and seek?"

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Agent Adisa Bakari, who represents Bell, told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Wednesday that his client will "get there when he's there" and still intends to make this the best statistical season of his career.

Some Steelers players are starting to get restless with the holdout, but Bell is going to do what's best for his long-term future.

"At some point and you're like, 'All right, if you don't want to be here, it is what it is, hold out for 10 weeks", Pouncey said. Samuels deserves a decent amount of work as a third-down back, and former Patriots 1,000-yard rusher Stevan Ridley will give Conner a handful of power relief. Surely they thought Bell would be back around Labor Day just like last season, and they waited until the all-important Wednesday practice before airing their grievances publicly. Jesse James, who's dealing with a back injury, has done an admirable job of being mostly a matchup-based red zone target for Roethlisberger.

The Steelers stood firm after Bell threatened to retire if they used the franchise tag on him again and he turned down their five-year contract offer, and only dug in by saying if Bakari "would like to talk further, he has the phone number to our offices". Drafted 48th overall in 2013, Bell is a two-time first-team All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler who has racked up almost 8,000 yards from scrimmage and 42 total touchdowns in 62 career games.

"'I think we're all excited for what he can bring to this offense and this team", Roethlisberger said. Bell knows that an National Football League running back's career is short lived and wants to make as much money as possible. It's bad for business.