It’s official: The Pittsburgh Steelers will play the rest of their 2018 season without Le’Veon Bell.
Bell elected not to report to the Steelers by Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline, in turn forfeiting the campaign and the $14.5 million he could have made had he suited up.
While the 6-2-1 Steelers have fared well without Bell, that didn’t stop their franchise quarterback from making a last-ditch effort to get the three-time Pro Bowl selection back at the team facility. During his Wednesday media availability, Ben Roethlisberger revealed he texted Bell on Tuesday, but to no avail.
Bell not reporting surely would have been a much bigger story had it not been for James Conner, who has shined in the role of Pittsburgh’s feature back. Conner has 164 carries for 771 yards with 10 rushing touchdowns through nine games to go along with 39 receptions for 387 yards with a score.
Not only did Tuesday mark the end of Bell’s 2018 season, but it also, in all likelihood, signaled the end of his Steelers tenure. Pittsburgh would be able to slap a $14.5 million transition tag on Bell in the offseason, but given the history between the two sides, a split might be best for all involved.
Thumbnail photo via Mitch Stringer/USA TODAY Sports Images