Steelers' Mike Tomlin on Le'Veon Bell Possibly Missing Entire Season: 'So Be It'November 13, 2018
Le'Veon Bell has until 4 p.m. EST Tuesday to sign his franchise tender or be forced to sit out the entire 2018 season, and with the deadline quickly approaching, Pittsburgh Steelers head coach Mike Tomlin isn't sure what the running back will do.
Tomlin revealed Tuesday, per NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala, that he has not had any communication with Bell this season. Kinkhabwala noted Tomlin has reached out to Bell at times but has not had his calls or texts answered—but the coach understands it's a business.
And if the three-time Pro Bowler doesn't show up? "So be it," Tomlin said Tuesday, according to Kinkhabwala.
Of course, it's easy to have that attitude when the replacement, James Conner, is having a breakout season. The second-year back has run for 771 yards and 10 touchdowns in nine games, adding 387 receiving yards and a score through the air as well. Conner is, however, currently going through the concussion protocol after being banged up in Week 10.
Meanwhile, Pittsburgh currently sits atop the AFC North at 6-2-1.
Bell recently raised some eyebrows with a pair of tweets earlier this week:
Bell told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler back in January that he was prepared to sit out the entire season or even retire if he could not reach a long-term deal during the offseason. Sure enough, he has yet to sign as the regular season has passed the midway point.
Now, Tomlin and Co. must wait a few more hours to see what the future holds. Regardless, the head coach is only concerned about the players who are under contract.
"I hadn’t thought about that one iota," Tomlin said about the possibility of Bell wearing a Steelers uniform again, per Kinkhabwala.