Le’Veon Bell Will Sit Out Season, Forfeits Remaining $6M of $14.5M Salary

The unsigned Steelers franchise player did not report by Tuesday's deadline.

Le'Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
Le'Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
By Evan Bleier / November 13, 2018 4:30 pm

The Le’Veon Bell saga in Pittsburgh has come to an end.

Tendered at $14.5 million by the Steelers as their franchise player this offseason, Bell declined to sign the tag before the start of the season and began a holdout.

From there, the reporting about the situation was a nearly daily affair with some saying Bell would show up with each Pittsburgh win or loss. The weeks passed, the reports continued, and Bell, despite losing $855,529 with each missed game, never showed up.

And now he can’t as he failed to report to the Steelers to sign his tag by the 4 p.m. deadline Tuesday and is now ineligible to play the remainder of the 2018 season.

Had he reported by the deadline, Bell would have still made $5,988,706 of the $14.5 million he would have been owed under the tag.

With his season now over. Bell will become an unrestricted free agent this winter. The Steelers do still have the option of using a $14.5 million transition tag on Bell which would allow them to match any offer he gets on the market.

Should Bell sign a lucrative deal elsewhere, the Steelers would get a mid-round compensatory draft pick.

The back who has replaced Bell in Pittsburgh’s offense, James Conner, is third in the NFL in rushing yards (771) and rushing touchdowns (10).

In his five years in Pittsburgh, Bell amassed nearly 8,000 yards of total offense and scored 42 touchdowns.

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