Bell has been holding out of camp over a contract dispute.
Le'Veon Bell will return to the Steelers at some point before the start of the regular season, according to a report from ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Bell wanted to get a long-term deal done with Pittsburgh, but the two sides were unable to agree to terms before the July 17 deadline. Back in February, the Steelers placed the exclusive franchise tag on Bell, which prevents him from negotiating with any other team. As a franchised running back, Bell will earn $12.1 million this year.
After the season, Bell could hit free agency or Pittsburgh could place the franchise tag on him for a second consecutive season. General manager Kevin Colbert said the team will ''resume its efforts'' to re-sign Bell next offseason.
While Bell has not been a participant in the Steelers' preseason activities, there has been little doubt throughout the process that he would eventually return to camp.
“I fully expect Le’Veon Bell to be a significant contributor for the 2017 Steelers,” Pittsburgh general manager Kevin Colbert told ESPN on Wednesday. “That’s as simple as I can state it.”
Bell, 25, is coming off a groin injury but appears to be fully healthy and ready to return to all football activities. Bell remains one of the most productive dual-threat backs in the league; in just 12 games last season, he ran for 1268 yards and seven touchdowns (on 4.9 yards per carry) and had 75 receptions for 616 yards and two touchdowns.
The Steelers open the regular season at the Browns on Sept. 10.