Since Le'Veon Bell did not report, the two-time All-Pro running back will not be eligible to play the remainder of the season.
Le'Veon Bell did not report to the Steelers on Tuesday ahead of a deadline to maintain eligibility to play this season, the team confirmed.
"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," GM Kevin Colbert said Tuesday in a statement.
Since Bell did not report, the two-time All-Pro running back will not be eligible to play the remainder of the season. He will become an unrestricted free agent this winter.
Bell, 26, has been in the middle of a long contract dispute with the team. He has sat out the entire preseason and regular season before failing to sign his franchise tender for the season Tuesday. Bell was set to make $14.5 million this season, but lost $855,529 for very week he's missed so far before giving up the remainder of his salary when he was a no-show at the deadline.
Schefter reported this weekend Bell would likely not rejoin the team by the Tuesday 4 p.m. ET deadline. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported the Steelers wanted Bell to return to the club, but as of this weekend, the team was no longer expecting him back. According to Rapoport, Bell decided instead to wait until free agency before signing a new contract.
Bell was spotted in Pittsburgh last week which led to optimism that he might sign his tender. He also posted a pair of upside-down tweets addressing his holdout.
The Steelers are 6-2-1 this season after beating the Panthers 52–21 on Thursday.