The Pittsburgh Steelers will have to do without Le'Veon Bell in Week 1.
There was a strong belief among the Pittsburgh Steelers' brass that Le'Veon Bell would fold under pressure in his contract holdout, but alas he chose to stay firm. The Steelers' running back has in effect decided to forfeit his first game check, worth just under $900,000. Within the NFL rulebook, Bell had until Saturday at 4 pm to reach the team's training grounds, which he didn't, thus the holdout will rage on another week.
Bell has defiantly withdrawn any interest of signing a franchise tender that would pay him $14.54 million for the 2018 campaign. He adamantly believes he has done enough to merit a multiyear contract at a higher asking price. Of course, NFL teams operate under a tight cap situation and rarely overpay at the running back position. There's a stigma surrounding their effectiveness, as GMs are trending towards spending their allocated funds elsewhere, namely the offensive line. The economics of pro football simply don't allow overspending.
Bell's teammates have been torn on the issue. Some like Antonio Brown have taken to his cause, while others have questioned his motivation. Regardless, Le'Veon Bell has no obligation to the Steelers or his 'mates until he signs the franchise tender. The Steelers sans Bell will confront the division rival Cleveland Browns this afternoon.