Le'Veon Bell Steelers

Le’Veon Bell is once again using the offseason to demand a lucrative long-term contract, and the Pittsburgh Steelers are fully prepared to not see their star running back until shortly before the 2018 NFL season begins.

Tom Pelissero of NFL Media reports the Steelers have “no expectation” Bell will join the team before he did in 2017 — which was Sep. 1, right before the season opener.

Bell recently skipped voluntary organized team activities (OTAs). Previously, the 26-year-old All-Pro said he wouldn’t report for training camp without a new contract, too.

At this point, it’s reasonable to expect Pittsburgh won’t budge on handing Bell a long-term contract that matches his salary demands. Subsequently, the NFL world shouldn’t anticipate Bell changing his mind and showing up anytime soon.

Bell will likely play the 2018 season under the franchise tag, which is set to cost Pittsburgh $14.544 million.