Le’Veon Bell Seems Rattled By Steelers Teammates Blasting Him Over Holdout

LeVeon Bell walking on the field

Bell's chair remained tucked neatly into his locker on Wednesday, meaning he will nearly certainly not be available when the Steelers open the season in Cleveland this weekend.

Bell did not show up for practice on Wednesday, something his teammates reportedly expected him to do. We're not anxious, they said.

Smith, though, knows what of he speaks.

According to sources at ESPN, the NFL Network and elsewhere, many Steelers players have expressed frustration at Bell's continued holding out as the team's first game of the season is mere days away. That money returns to the Steelers' salary cap.

"Le'Veon has several years ahead of him in football".

"We are not going to discuss any conversations through the media".

If there's one thing we've learned about Le'Veon Bell this week, it's that he definitely isn't the most popular person in the Steelers locker room right now. Bill Belichick alone goes through players like a wheat thresher and he is generally lauded for his willingness to be nakedly disloyal. "We'd like [Bell] out there, but we've got guys who can make plays for us". Now, once a serviceable veteran has outlived his entry-level deal he nearly immediately becomes more of a burden than an asset. "James is a year better than he was last year at this time".

That strategy may be smart for him, but it won't endear him to his teammates.

Bell and the Steelers spent each of the past two springs failing to come to terms on a new contract. "Any time I can play football, I don't take it for granted".

Le'Veon Bell is 26-years-old. The former Pitt star is in line to make his first National Football League start on Sunday and he's not too concerned about the circumstances that made it happen.

What the Steelers can wait for at this point is Bell to join them.

That fans gripe about holdouts isn't surprising, but you'd think players would manage a little solidarity. All other players were full go.

The crux of Bell's dispute centers on stalled contract negotiations after the Steelers placed a $14.5 million (£11.2m) franchise tag on him on March 6, even as the star running back threatened to sit out the season or even retire in January 2018 if the team did indeed place the franchise tag on him for the second consecutive season.

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