Le’Veon Bell is not happy about not getting a new deal with the Steelers offseason, and while it was obvious he wasn’t going to show up to training camp, it was a surprise to many Monday when he didn’t show to the first official practice of the season as the team gets ready to play in Cleveland on Sunday.
“We are disappointed Le’Veon Bell has not signed his franchise tender and rejoined his teammates,” general manager Kevin Colbert said in a statement Monday. “Coach [Mike] Tomlin and the coaching staff will continue to focus on preparing the players on our roster for our regular season opener on Sunday against the Cleveland Browns.”
Bell was a no-show at the team’s facility Monday and has a $14.5 million franchise tender waiting for him. While the no-show for Bell has Steelers fans nervous, one player told ESPN not to worry.
“He’ll be here Wednesday. Count on it,” Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey said.
“Last year [Bell] didn’t need any [practices] and was best in the league. It’s fine. He showed up last year at the same time. Totally fine, trust me.”
It was September 1st of last season when Bell took his physical, and he showed up on September 4th for practice, which was the Monday before the opener which was also in Cleveland against the Browns, a game won by the Steelers 21-18.
For now, the carries with the first team in practice went to James Conner.