The NFL Trade Deadline was surprisingly absent much Le'Veon Bell talk, in part because the Steelers star running back wanted it that way. Bell didn't show up to the Steelers facilities prior to the 4 PM deadline to sign his tender, and therefore couldn't be dealt regardless of the offers Pittsburgh received for him.
Now that this benchmark has passed, it's Bell's turn to put up or shut up. The former Michigan State Spartan has every intention of getting paid this season, and having already forfeited an obscene amount of money, Bell's checkbook is officially on the clock.
Le’Veon Bell is back on the clock. Staying away from the Steelers as the trade deadline passed means Bell has exactly two weeks to report. If he doesn’t show by Nov. 13, he can’t play this season. Bell fully intends to suit up in 2018 but he hasn’t told the Steelers of his plans.— Jeremy Fowler (@JFowlerESPN) October 30, 2018
If Bell doesn't show up by Nov. 13 he forfeits the right to play at all this season for Pittsburgh, and therefore won't be able to collect his remaining game checks. While Le'Veon has shown a stunning level of self-confidence this season in allowing James Conner to star in his wake, willingly giving up that much money would be a terrible business decision, and hopefully something his agent is recommending he avoid.
As the #Steelers get ready to begin meetings for another Wednesday of a work week, RB Le’Veon Bell is not present. He wasn’t going to show up before the trade deadline, ensuring he’d remain on the team... but he didn’t show up after, either. Still James Conner’s show.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 31, 2018
The Steelers will roll with Conner moving forward, and one could argue that Bell's return would serve more as a distraction than an on-field benefit at this point. But this matter is out of the Steelers' control.
A backfield duo of Conner and Bell would make Pittsburgh's rushing attack scary heading into the postseason in a top-heavy AFC.