Le’veon Bell is expected to report back to the Steelers during week 7-8 according to a source close to ESPN. He has told ESPN that he will be playing football during this season and does not expect to be traded. Week 7 for the Steelers is a bye week, so Bell will be available for their week 8 game against the Cleveland Browns.
Bell is refusing to sign his franchise tag, wanting a longer contract than 2 years. He says that his body is still in football condition. The Steelers want to move Bell from the franchise tag to a transition tag in 2019, where he could be traded to other teams while the Steelers still have rights to him. The 2019 transition-tag number is expected to be more than $17 million.
“I miss football,” Bell said. “When I do get back, I plan to give it my all. I still do want to go out there and win a Super Bowl with the Steelers. I could be naïve or hopeful, but at the end of the day I feel like that’s what’s going to happen. I don’t think they really want me gone. That could be me being prideful. But I’m still holding out hope.”
With teams like the Jets, 49ers, Colts, Browns, and Eagles all reportedly among teams that want Bell’s services, it is clear that he has options. He just wants to go to a team that values his skill and everything that he brings to a team.
“I know the guaranteed money will be there,” Bell said. “If a team wanted to, they could definitely do what they needed to do to make me happy and satisfied.”