Bell won't be returning to the Steelers this week as previously reported.
Earlier this month, Le'Veon Bell revealed to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler that he planned to report to the Pittsburgh Steelers during their Week 7 bye and planned to be ready for the team's Week 8 home game against the Cleveland Browns on October 28. Unfortunately, the Steelers bye week has now come and gone and there's still no signs of Le'Veon Bell in Pittsburgh.
According to NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport, Bell will not be reporting this week after all. It's anybody's guess when the Pro Bowl running back will decide to show up but Rapoport suggests next Tuesday, October 30 might be the big day. That's because the NFL's trade deadline is at 4:00pm ET on the 30th and Bell would want to ensure that he can't be traded upon signing the franchise tender.
In speaking of his lengthy holdout, in which he forfeits more than $850,000 for each week that he remains away from the team, Bell told Jeremy Fowler weeks ago that it "sucks" but added, "I've gotta take this stand."
The Steelers offered Bell a $70 million contract over the summer but he referred to it as "Monopoly money" because it only included $17 million in guarantees.
"It sucks having to sit out football," Bell said by telephone from South Florida on Monday, according to ESPN. "I want to play. I want to win games and the playoffs.
"But I've gotta take this stand. Knowing my worth and knowing I can tear a ligament or get surgery at any time, I knew I couldn't play 16 games with 400 or more touches."
"It's costing me some fans," Bell said. "A lot of people call me selfish but I'm really not. I'm doing it for guys behind me or guys who don't understand what's going on in the business of football. The 22 years I've been playing football, I've always brought value. I don't think the Steelers valued me as much."
The Steelers, 3-2-1, will host the Browns in Week 8, followed by a road game against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 9 - which could be Bell's first game of the season but we won't hold our breath.