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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Time has run out for Le’Veon Bell if he wanted to play this NFL this season.
The running back had until 4 p.m. Tuesday to report, or be ineligible to play for the remainder of the season. He was a no-show at Pittsburgh Steelers’ headquarters on the South Side. He also forfeits $14.5 million.
KDKA’s Rich Walsh has more from outside Steelers HQ:
Pittsburgh Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert released this statement:
“I want to confirm that Le’Veon Bell did not sign his Franchise Tender today and, as a result, he will not be eligible to play football during the 2018 season.”
Bell skipped all of Training Camp in the summer and has been a no-show all season.
Over the weekend, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that multiple league sources said Bell was unlikely to report to the team by the deadline.
Steelers’ running back Le’Veon Bell is unlikely to report to the team by Tuesday’s deadline, which would make him ineligible to play the rest of this season, multiple league sources tell ESPN.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) November 11, 2018
Last week, many speculated that he would return to the team after he tweeted that he was leaving Miami. Later in the week, he was spotted at the LA Fitness on McKnight Road in McCandless.
Bell took to Twitter again with a series of upside down tweets, saying:
“Just about everybody has an opinion on my life and worried about what I’m doing… don’t judge me off my decisions because maybe this isn’t what you’d do… but most people don’t take the time to just simply read between the lines… and that’s clearly on them… I’m not apologizing for what I believe is right for myself, family, and the rest of my peers, period… also if you’re really finding the time to figure out what I’m saying, you’ve proved by point.”
As the Steelers were playing the Panthers on Thursday, Bell tweeted about James Conner, who has replaced Bell in his absence.
James go crazy then!! ?????????
— Le’Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) November 9, 2018
He later tweeted, “I think it’s safe to say, it’s time to pass the sticks…”
Bell has been quiet on social media since then.
Speaking to the Cook and Joe Show on 93.7 The Fan, Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger said he had not heard from Bell as of 11 a.m. Tuesday.
“I don’t think anyone has heard from him,” Roethlisberger said.
When asked if he wanted Bell to return to the team this season, Roethlisberger was open to the idea.
“If he wants to come here and be apart of this team, then absolutely. Why wouldn’t you want an extra weapon, but only if he wants to, not because he feels obligated,” the Steelers quarterback said.
Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin did not hear from the All Pro running back either. Tomlin spoke about the situation during his regularly scheduled news conference on Tuesday.
When asked if he does not return, Tomlin was to the point.
“So be it,” he said.
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