The Steelers running back was nowhere to be seen as the team reported for training camp in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. Bell, who was hit with the franchise tag this year, didn’t report for camp because he’s unhappy that he wasn’t able to work out a long-term deal with the Steelers before the July 17 deadline given to all franchise players.
Without a long-term contract in place, Bell will be forced to play the 2017 season under a one-year franchise deal that will pay him $12.12 million. However, Bell hasn’t yet signed his one-year franchise tender, which means the Steelers can’t fine him for missing training camp.
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin called the situation with Bell “unfortunate.”
“Obviously I would like him to be here,” Tomlin said Thursday, via ESPN.com. “I’m going to focus my energies on the guys who are. It’s an unfortunate circumstance, one that we’ll deal with, one that he’ll deal. I’ve had good, clean communication with him. I’ll leave the nature of those conversations between us. But rest assured that he’ll be ready to play football.”
Tomlin didn’t seem to have any idea on when Bell might show up for camp.
“When he gets here? I don’t know,” Tomlin said. “I’ll remain focused on the guys who are here and their overall development. When he gets here, he gets here.”
The Steelers shouldn’t be too surprised that Bell was a no-show on Thursday. After the franchise deadline passed on July 17, Bell said he wouldn’t be in any hurry to sign his tender, which might’ve been his way of hinting at the fact that he wasn’t going to show for the beginning of training camp.
“It’s a little frustrating, but it’s a business,” Bell told ESPN.com. “I’m not in a rush to sign for something I’m not valued at if I feel I’m worth more than what they are offering me.”
Bell recently told former Steelers teammate Ike Taylor that he. According to Taylor, Bell wants to be paid as a No. 1 running back and a No. 2 wide receiver.
Although Bell wasn’t in camp on Thursday, the Steelers did avoid another possible holdout when they reached a deal with left tackle Alejandro Villanueva. Villanueva, who was only scheduled to make $615,000 in 2017, signed a four-year, $24 million .
Brown showed up to camp inconvertible.
As for Harrison, he showed up in a fire truck, and because we wouldn’t tell you something like that without showing it to you, here’s Harrison and his fire truck.