Time has run out for Le’Veon Bell to report to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the running back now has given up his 2018 NFL season.
The running back held out the entire preseason and first 10 weeks of the regular season over a contract dispute. Although there were reports saying the team expected him to report after its bye week, hope the 26-year-old would show up dwindled, and Bell’s teammates grew tired of his holdout.
Now, it doesn’t sound like Bell will don the black and yellow jersey at all in 2018.
Pittsburgh general manager Kevin Colbert confirmed the rumors in a statement shortly after the 4 p.m. ET deadline.
Bell will forfeit $14.5 million as he looks to sign a lucrative contract in the offseason.
The Steelers seem to be doing just fine without the running back’s services, as they have an AFC North-leading 6-2-1 record. James Conner also has filled in nicely at the position, racking up over 1,000 yards from scrimmage in his first season with Pittsburgh.
Bell’s season-long holdout potentially could be risky. He’ll likely be in tip-top shape entering the 2019 campaign, but teams may be wary of inking him to a multi-million dollar contract after not playing football for a year. Only time will tell where Bell will end up and if a year away from the game will have a significant impact on him.
Thumbnail photo via Philip G. Pavely/USA TODAY Sports Images