The Bell finally appears to be ready to toll.
Steelers all-pro Le’Veon Bell plans to report for duty during Pittsburgh’s Week 7 bye, according to ESPN, ending an ugly and lengthy standoff after the star running back and team failed for the second year in a row to reach a long-term contract agreement.
If that timeline holds, Bell would be available for the team’s final 10 games while accruing the season of service that would allow him to reach free agency in 2019. But also noteworthy, this plan suggests Bell’s first availability for game action would be Pittsburgh’s Oct. 28 home date against the Browns. The NFL trading deadline is two days later.
Bell has been the subject of trade rumors in recent weeks but can’t be moved until he signs his $14.54 million franchise tag tender, which is prorated throughout the season. If he does show in Week 7, he would still be due roughly $9.4 million this season, a figure any trade partner would have to accommodate under its salary cap.
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SOURCE: USA Today, by Nate Davis