Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell chose not to report to the team today by the mandated 4pm EST deadline that would have allowed him to play for the rest of the season. In failing to report, Bell forfeits any chance of playing for the rest of the season as well as $14.5 million dollars in salary.
Bell has held out since the beginning of the season due to a contract dispute with Steelers ownership. The All-Pro was unhappy with the franchise tag placed on him by the team which limited his options in negotiating a huge payday. In an attempt to leverage a big contract from the Steelers, the running back chose to miss the first two and half months of the season with the option to return by November 13th, the NFL’s deadline for player activation. It didn’t help Bell that Steelers rookie running back James Conner has been sensational in Bell’s place, putting up stats even better than those put up by Bell in 2017.
In the end, for Le’Veon Bell and the Steelers, today’s actions signaled the death knell for the superstar in Steel City.