Le'Veon Bell Called Out By Steelers Teammates Amid Holdout

Le'Veon Bell Called Out By Steelers Teammates Amid Holdout

The star running back was ripped by his teammates after Wednesday's practice, to which Bell was a no-show again as he tries to bargain for a long-term contract instead of signing a $14.5 million franchise tag. Although Conner and Samuels will pick up some slack for Bell in the passing game, the Steelers can also compensate with Ben Roethlisberger throwing more often to Smith-Schuster on short-to-intermediate routes in favorable coverage away from Brown. I put most of the onus on Bell and his agent, it's pretty clear they don't "get" it, but the front office shouldn't be left off the hook so easily either. You're a little mad that things didn't get done.

"I ask these young guys if they are nervous and they tell me no and I call them a liar because if I am 15 years in and nervous you should be nervous too", said Roethlisberger.

For however long Bell is gone, here is how the Steelers' offense will look without him. (I see you, David Spade.) I get it.

At the moment, that's more if than when.

The Steelers placed the franchise tag on Bell this off-season, but the running back has yet to sign the $14.5-million tender and it could be a while before he ends his holdout. A possibility: Bell could return in Week 7, when the Steelers have a bye, which would allow an extra week to prepare for the Browns' Oct. 28 visit to Heinz Field.

Speaking on SiriusXM NFL Radio on Wednesday, Bell's agent, Adisa Bakari, implied that the 26-year-old could sit out well into the season.

"He f-ked us", the player said. It's not affecting us one bit.

"So I'd like to say that the linemen are more important than any skill position player, including myself, on this team".

That confidence rings hollow when you consider the Steelers lost to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV without Pouncey. Did anyone know (Kansas City's) Kareem Hunt would be an all-pro before last season? Samuels deserves a decent amount of work as a third-down back, and former Patriots 1,000-yard rusher Stevan Ridley will give Conner a handful of power relief. They're now letting him know that. Bakari told NFL Live in an appearance Wednesday, "He's going to do the things necessary to protect his value long-term".

That's their way of saying, "You're it". Bell and his camp appear committed to sitting out some portion of the 2018 season with a focus toward free agency in 2019.

That's not just bigger than business.