Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

Pittsburgh Steelers can place transition tag on RB Le'Veon Bell

Bell & Tomlin Getty Images
Shannon Reynolds | 06 November, 2018, 20:50

The Steelers coach spoke to ESPN's Dianna Russini on "Sunday NFL Countdown" before the team's rivalry game against the Ravens, saying the team "needs volunteers, not hostages".

"We haven't spent a lot of time focused on [Bell being gone] because it's not within our control".

"You are going to be presented with challenges, there are going to be people available and less than available, and we are going to need all of these guys to walk this journey".

He likely felt the same way after the game as Conner ran for 107 yards on 24 carries and added seven catches for 56 yards and a touchdown during the Steelers' 23-16 win.

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The Steelers now can place the transition tag on Bell after this season, which would allow Pittsburgh to match any offer sheet the running back receives. The players clearly don't seem thrilled and if Twitter reaction is any indication, Steelers fans would rather have Conner. Oh, and Conner is second in the National Football League with 706 rushing yards.

"Le'Veon Bell must report to the Steelers by Tuesday Nov. 13 at 4 p.m. or he will be ineligible to play for the remainder of the 2018 season, under the terms of the collective bargaining agreement".

Other reports indicate Pittsburgh didn't receive calls from teams interested in the disgruntled back prior to the trade deadline. If he does, Pittsburgh is not likely to use its franchise tag on Bell again this offseason, since a third consecutive franchise tag would be too cost prohibitive.

"If he doesn't want to play for $14.5 million, why would he want to play for $5 million?" the source told ESPN, referring to the prorated balance remaining on Bell's $14.5 million franchise tender. 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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