Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell a no-show as deadline approaches

Why the Patriots should be concerned in Week 10 vs. Titans

Time has run out for Le'Veon Bell to report to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the running back now has given up the 2018 National Football League season.

Should Bell hit the open market in 2019 free agency, Bell will have plenty of suitors dying to gain his services.

The Steelers placed the franchise tag on Bell for the second time this past off-season, but the 26-year-old has made a decision to sit out the year and wait for a long-term contract rather than play under the tag, which would have paid him $14.5 million this season. Bell is hoping to sign a long-term deal this offseason. Bell's replacement, James Conner, ranks second in the National Football League with 1,158 yards from scrimmage and has reached the endzone 11 times. Although there were reports saying the team expected him to report after its bye week, hope the 26-year-old would show up dwindled, and Bell's teammates grew exhausted of his holdout.

A few hours before the deadline, head coach Mike Tomlin told reporters Tuesday that Bell hadn't returned a text message or phone call from him.

The Steelers are unlikely to tag him for a third consecutive year, which would cost more than £15.4m, but some reports have said they plan to use the transition tag, which would cost around £7.71m while allowing Pittsburgh to match any offer Bell gets from another team. Instead, Bell made good on a threat he made almost 11 months ago, when he said he would consider sitting out the season if the team kept him from free agency via a second franchise tag. If he signed a lucrative deal elsewhere, the Steelers would receive a midround compensatory draft pick. Conner suffered a concussion in Thursday's win over the Panthers, but is expected to clear protocol this week. That's a moot point now.

The running back held out the entire preseason and first 10 weeks of the regular season over a contract dispute.

And so, we appear to be at the end of Bell's career in Pittsburgh.

Up until late last week, the Steelers were bracing for the return of Bell, who played basketball at a local LA Fitness last week.

"I've told you guys and I've told you guys consistently, a reaction comes from me if and when he walks in the door", Tomlin said. Now we know for sure, that won't be the case.

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