The Pittsburgh Steelers are set to open their 2018 season in just a few short days, yet star running back Le’Veon Bell remains away from his teammates.
Teammates who reportedly expected him to show up for work on Wednesday.
Based on comments made by his agent, Adisa Bakari, Bell might not report for work any time soon, either.
Le’Veon Bell’s agent @AdisaBakari says on @SiriusXMNFL this am: “I said Le'Veon has every intention to make this the best season of his career. That has not changed. That's his intention, to make this the best statistical season of his career."
(PS Bell is still not here.)
— Aditi Kinkhabwala (@AKinkhabwala) September 5, 2018
Bell has mostly had the support of his teammates throughout his holdout, both last year and this summer. After all, almost everyone agrees that Bell — perhaps the best dual-threat running back in the league — has done enough to earn a lucrative contract extension.
However, that might be changing now that they’re about to embark on a new campaign without him.
Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey told Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network, “At this point, it’s bigger than business.”
Without putting words in Pouncey’s mouth here, it sure seems like he’s saying it’s personal now that Bell has seemingly decided to remain away from the Steelers for the time being.
Pittsburgh absolutely has a championship-caliber roster. Bell is a big part of that. If he’s choosing to remain away from his teammates, who have a limited championship window with the aging veteran Ben Roethlisberger, then it would be easy to understand if they are starting to take this personally.