Earlier this week, it was reported that Le'Veon Bell would return to the Pittsburgh Steelers during their Week 7 bye in advance of a Week 8 matchup against the Cleveland Browns. However, during Bell's lengthy lockout, the Steelers have begun to look into trade options for their star running back. Now it seems that Bell won't be too accepting to that idea.

The Steelers are likely more comfortable with a trade due to the production of second-year running back James Conner and second-year wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster. They combined for three touchdowns in Pittsburgh's Week 5 win against the Atlanta Falcons, and Conner finished with 185 total yards from scrimmage.


Bell would like to be paid as a playmaker, rather than per his position. The production of Pittsburgh's young offensive weapon proves they might not need him after all.

As Rapoport says, a midseason trade is probably not beneficial to Bell, who would have to learn a new offense and may look different than usual. Bell can't afford down weeks when he is looking to become the highest-paid running back in the league this offseason.


While the Steelers don't have any firm offers for Bell yet, don't expect them to simply stop looking. The Steelers want to find the best way out of this situation, and a trade may still be that path.