James Conner Excels for Pittsburgh as Le’Veon Bell Abstains
As Le’Veon Bell continues to not report to sign his Pittsburgh Steelers contract, his backup is quietly building a reputation.
The contract of Le’Veon Bell is a saga that has been running since the offseason. The Pittsburgh Steelers placed the franchise tag on Le’Veon Bell during the offseason.
However, since then, Bell hasn’t reported to sign and play on the contract worth $14.54 million. According to NFL Network’s Jim Trotter, he will not report this week, either.
Bell must report by Week 10 at the latest or his contract will roll into next season.
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It’s hard to know what Bell will do. He has in the past promised to report but hasn’t. He said he’d report on Labor Day, and then during Pittsburgh’s Week 7 bye. He didn’t show up either of those times.
If he does report, it doesn’t look likely that he’ll be traded. Reportedly, both the running back and Pittsburgh president Art Rooney II are against a trade.
Although Bell is a huge talent, football goes on, and James Conner has been playing in his place. James Conner is quietly building himself into starting running back form in Bell’s absence.
He is averaging 4.4 yards per rush in 6 games so far this season. The second year back also has 314 yards and 4 touchdowns in the last two games.
Despite this, Steelers’ players don’t see any issue arising when Bell does eventually show up.
“In our locker room we are not even worried about it,” defensive lineman Cam Heyward said Monday. “It’s unfair for me to even talk about him and he will have to answer his own questions when he wants to but we are not talking about it right now. We’ve got Cleveland Browns football and if he joins along the way so be it. It’s not fair to everybody in this locker room and Le’Veon himself for us to keep talking about it.”
“I’m not comparing anybody. I just think James is having a really good season so far and he’s going to continue to have to be a workhorse and if Le’Veon comes back we will need him to be a workhorse as well,” Heyward said. “All we are concerned with is getting W’s. I don’t care how we do it, let’s just get the W.