The Pittsburgh Steelers made sure on Tuesday that All-Pro running back Le’Veon Bell wouldn’t hit free agency next week. For the second consecutive year, the team placed the dreaded franchise tag on the dynamic back.
This is much to the chagrin of a player in Bell who believes he’s worthy of a long-term commitment from Pittsburgh. And he’s now made sure to note publicly that he’s not happy about being handed the franchise tag. In fact, Bell indicates that he will not show up for Steelers organized team activities or training camp short of Pittsburgh handing him a lucrative long-term deal.
Le'Veon Bell just said he will not hold out. Will approach this year like last year. Will show up for Week 1 but wont show for training camp and OTAs. @TheAthleticPGH
— Mark Kaboly (@MarkKaboly) March 8, 2018
That’s essentially the same stance Bell took after being handed the tag last season. Whether this leads to Pittsburgh opening up its pocket books even more remains to be seen. One thing is clear here. This situation is not going to work itself out short of the two sides coming to terms on some type of a long-term deal. Bell has tallied 3,830 total yards and 20 touchdowns over the past two seasons. He’s slated to earn $14.5 million under the franchise tag next season.