According to Schefter, the Steelers plan to wait for Bell to end his holdout and report to the team. In fact, sources around the league have told Schefter that they think Bell will return to Pittsburgh before the end of the month.
A separate report from this morning mentioned that the Steelers are moving forward as if Bell will not be available for the first four-to-six weeks of the regular season.
Bell opted to not report to the team by Saturday’s deadline, which means he officially forfeited his Week 1 game check of $853,000.
The Steelers reportedly have no plans to rescind his franchise tag. Bell has yet to sign his franchise tender for the 2018 season, but all it would take is for him to report to the team and the sign the one-year offer.
Bell, 26, is a former second-round pick of the Steelers back in 2013. He played out the final year of his four-year, $4,120,600 rookie contract that included a $1,376,800 signing bonus and was in position to be one of the best players in the free agent market when he was franchised.
The Steelers used the franchise tag on Bell again this offseason, which means he stands to make $14.5 million fully guaranteed for the 2018 season before testing the open market as an unrestricted free agent next year.
In 2017, Bell has appeared in 15 games for the Steelers and rushed for 1, 291yards on 321 carries (4 YPC) to go along with 85 receptions for 655 yards receiving and 11 total touchdowns. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 9 running back out of 58 qualifying players.