With the opening week of the NFL season approaching, Steelers LeVeon Bell has still not signed his franchise tag contract and joined his teammates in preparation for this season.
Bell has chosen to take the same route as last year, opting not to sign his 1-year deal until the very last moment. He once again has missed all of training camp and preseason due to a lack of an agreement.
Last season Bell chose to sign the week before the season opener. He got off to a slow start in the first few games before ultimately returning to form.
This year suggests a repeat of last year as Bell has clearly stated that he will preserve his body from the rigor of training and train on his own.
Many analysts and former players differ on how this will affect Bell’s performance. While teammates show no concern, others expand the lack of worry by releasing social media statements reflecting their respect for his decision and believe that he will be ready for the season.
Bell demonstrated a slow start last year, playing in 15 games and only sat out the last game as the Steelers had nothing to gain.
He finished 3rd in the league in rushing and secured another Pro Bowl berth.
Yesterday Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reporter Gerry Dulac issued a statement that Bell had informed his teammates that he would be reporting to the team on Labor Day. Bell quickly refuted the claim.
“Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell informed some teammates he plans on rejoining the team on Labor Day,” the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Gerry Dulac reported Tuesday. Bell has since denied the claim.