Le’Veon Bell hints at ending holdout with a tweet

Tanya Simon
November 6, 2018

Throughout the entire holdout process for Pittsburgh Steelers star running back Le'Veon Bell, there has been the underlying assumption that he has to return at some point this year in order to become a free agent next offseason. Those decisions are Le'Veon's.

The Steelers coach spoke to ESPN's Dianna Russini on "Sunday NFL Countdown" before the team's rivalry game against the Ravens, saying the team "needs volunteers, not hostages".

"You are going to be presented with challenges, there are going to be people available and less than available, and we are going to need all of these guys to walk this journey".

Bell tweeted on Monday that he was leaving Miami - where he has spent his time this holdout. "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it".

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Conner, who has eight explosive rushes through eight games (Bell totaled three in 15 regular-season games last season), has ably filled in as the first-place Steelers' feature back. He is the fastest player in Steelers history to reach 10 touchdowns in a season. They're ranked No. 8 in the National Football League in scoring, averaging 3 points more than they did a season ago, when Bell was in the same role as Conner. Not only that, but the value of the tag will be significantly less than the franchise tag amount of $14.5 million.

By collective bargaining agreement, Bell is allowed to skip the first nine weeks of the season, show up for week 10 and still count that as a full year of service, which leaves $8.5 million on the table. But the clock is ticking for Bell, and he must report to the Steelers by 4 p.m. on November 13 in order to preserve his eligibility for this season.

But the clock's ticking on Bell earning an accrued season and ensuring the Steelers don't use the franchise tag for a third consecutive year.

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