Le’Veon Bell Just Announced Some Big News On Twitter

Bell & Tomlin

Bell & Tomlin

Le'Veon Bell has not had contact with the Pittsburgh Steelers this week, sources tell ESPN, and barring an unforeseen development in the next few days, is not expected to report to the team in time for Thursday night's game against the Panthers, increasing the possibility that the star running back will not play at all this season. Those decisions are Le'Veon's. In case anyone was doubting as much, consider what head coach Mike Tomlin told ESPN's Dianna Russini about the situation prior to Sunday's game against the Baltimore Ravens.

"So we're focused on the guys that are here and working - and James is definitely in that mix. We need volunteers, not hostages", Tomlin said.

Bell might be leaving Miami, but Conner might not be leaving the lineup. "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it".

Bell does not have to report to the Steelers by a certain date to get an accrued season to become eligible for free agency, contrary to what ESPN and others previously reported. He is the fastest player in Steelers history to reach 10 touchdowns in a season.

Tomlin addressed the emergence of Conner, who has been a revelation in his second season in the NFL.

Bell has until November 13 to report to the Steelers if he wants to play this season.

Yes, there are iterations of this scenario where the Steelers deactivate Bell for the rest of the season to spite him but it is hard to imagine the Steelers would handle their business in such a manner.

That could mean he's returning to Pittsburgh to sign his franchise tag tender prior to next Tuesday's National Football League deadline to return and play this season - for anyone.

That's a more appealing financial option for the Steelers; franchising Bell again next year would mean a 20 percent increase over this year's tag amount, or $17.45 million. Of course, the longer his holdout persists, the likelihood of playing anything but second fiddle to Conner upon his return decreases.

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