Published: Tue, November 06, 2018
Sport | By Cameron Gross

Why the Pittsburgh Steelers should bench Bell if he comes back

Why the Pittsburgh Steelers should bench Bell if he comes back

Disgruntled Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell has made a cryptic-and poorly spelled-tweet that suggests he's about to end his self-imposed exile and return to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Those decisions are Le'Veon's.

"We haven't spent a lot of time focused on it because it's not within our control". Before the matchup, ESPN's Dianna Russini caught up with Steelers' coach Mike Tomlin for a segment that would air on "Sunday NFL Countdown" 40 minutes before kickoff.

"Taking nothing against James, the running of the football is an 11-man job", Tomlin said.

Bell might be leaving Miami, but Conner might not be leaving the lineup. The players clearly don't seem thrilled and if Twitter reaction is any indication, Steelers fans would rather have Conner.

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ESPN Pittsburgh Steelers reporter Jeremy Fowler tweeted earlier today that Bell had not been in contact with the team. But it also would be worth somewhere between $9 million and $10 million - at least $4.5 million less than the $14.5 million franchise tag this year that he still has not signed, according to league sources.

Other reports indicate Pittsburgh didn't receive calls from teams interested in the disgruntled back prior to the trade deadline.

Bell has until November 13 at 4 p.m.to sign his franchise tag tender or his 2018 season would be over before it even started.

Bell told ESPN last month that he intends to play this season and took out a loss-of-value insurance policy knowing that the club could use the transition tag next offseason. If he does, Pittsburgh is not likely to use its franchise tag on Bell again this offseason, since a third consecutive franchise tag would be too cost prohibitive. Of course, the longer his holdout persists, the likelihood of playing anything but second fiddle to Conner upon his return decreases.

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