Kevin Gorman: Le'Veon Bell's absence bad for business

Kevin Gorman: Le'Veon Bell's absence bad for business

Before you could blink, Steelers players went from being supportive of Bell's skipping OTAs, minicamp, training camp and preseason games for the second consecutive season to sounding off on his absence now that it's the week of their season opener at the Cleveland Browns.

"He f--ed us", one veteran told ESPN as he walked out of the locker room on Wednesday.

"Honestly it's a little selfish", center Maurkice Pouncey told reporters after practice. Now when it's game time and you that you have $14 million looming out there, and you're still not here and your team really wants you here?

And in case you're wondering if the Steelers can trade Bell - they can't.

Reading between the lines tells us that Bell is anxious about the Steelers running the wheels off of him for one last hurrah. We know right now his days in Pittsburgh are precarious at best.

"We'll figure that out when he comes", Pouncey said. "When he gets here, I hope he'll be ready to go".

The Steelers placed the franchise tag on Bell this off-season, but the running back has yet to sign the $14.5-million tender and it could be a while before he ends his holdout. Whether or not the Steelers star will report in time for Week 1 is still unknown, but Bell on the field this Sunday is looking less and less likely with each passing day. We'd like [Bell] out there, but we've got guys who can make plays for us. It's not affecting us one bit.

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That confidence rings hollow when you consider the Steelers lost to the Green Bay Packers in Super Bowl XLV without Pouncey.

Le'Veon Bell's holdout has complicated fantasy football drafts, especially for those with one of the top picks.

Bell has averaged more than 300 touches per year in five seasons.

The Steelers open the regular season on Sunday against the Browns.

Bell has to worry about his own long-term well-being over the short-term interested of the Steelers, and he's just witnessed Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack receive extremely lucrative deals over the last week. But the former Pitt All-American is unproven as an National Football League running back, and second-stringer Stevan Ridley's 1,000-yard season was six years ago.

That's their way of saying, "You're it". "That his intention - to make this the best statistical season of his career". It's bad for business.

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