"There is no question we are a group that values the team-building process," Tomlin said, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's Ray Fittipaldo. "And doing it in this setting, so yes, there is value, and yes, there are consequences for not being here. That’s the reality of it."
Tomlin did not elaborate on what the consequences would entail.
That said, he did disclose he has had "good clean communication" with Bell and that he believes the 25-year-old "will be ready to play football" once he reports.
On Thursday, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said Bell is expected to be absent from Steelers practices for "several weeks" after the two sides failed to strike an agreement on a long-term contract before the league-imposed deadline.
According to ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler, Bell has said he plans to play under the $12.2 million franchise tag next season but still has not signed the tender.
"The running back market definitely took a hit, and I can't be the guy who continues to let it take a hit," Bell told Fowler. "We do everything: We block, we run, we catch the ball. Our value isn't where it needs to be. I'm taking it upon myself to open up some eyes and show the position is more valuable."
A two-time Pro Bowler and 2014 First Team All-Pro selection, Bell joined Arizona Cardinals running back David Johnson as the only players to total at least 1,200 rushing yards and 600 receiving yards last season.
Bell is also one of two running backs—along with Matt Forte—to notch at least 4,000 rushing yards and 2,000 receiving yards since his debut in 2013.