Bell May Have Lost Some Teammates' Support

The Steelers are "disappointed" that Le'Veon Bell has not reported to the team

September 04, 2018 - 9:28 am

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The Pittsburgh Steelers are “disappointed” that Le’Veon Bell hasn’t reported to the team yet. Many figured the All-Pro running back would be back with the Steelers by Monday. Didn’t happen.

One must wonder what Bell’s teammates think of this.

“I think they’ve been behind him,” Pittsburgh’s The Fan midday co-host Ron Cook said on Ferrall on the Bench. “You know how the players are. They look at it different than the fans do. They go, ‘It’s business. It’s business.’ Okay, I get it. He doesn’t want to get hurt in the preseason, but I think a lot of them, their eyes rolled a little bit (Monday). I think he lost some of his support in the locker room. But you know how that goes. If he comes in on Wednesday and helps them win on Sunday and scores a couple of touchdowns, it’ll all be forgiven.”

Holding out is nothing new for Bell, who has wanted – but not received – a long-term deal from the Steelers. 

“I really thought he would be in (Monday),” Cook said. “I don’t know what he is thinking. It’s not like him holding out for another day or two is going to get him more money. It’s not. They can’t pay him any more than they’re going to pay him here. We’re all stunned a little bit. But I’ll be shocked if he’s not here for practice Wednesday.”

Either way, Cook believes this will be Bell’s final season in Pittsburgh.

“I think he’s gone,” he said. “This is it. This is two years in a row they tried to work out a long-term deal with him. They have not been able to do that. I see him selling himself to the highest bidder after the season. I think this is hit. This is why they’re in win-now mode. Ben doesn’t have too much longer left. Le’Veon is gone. I think it’s a real important year for the Steelers. I think they need him to have a chance to win another Super Bowl. I don’t like this chances of being here beyond this year.”

The Steelers have won the AFC North in three of the last four years. Cook believes they'll make it four out of five.

“Let’s face it; The AFC North is not very good,” he said. “I don’t think Baltimore, Cincinnati or Cleveland are going to be any good. I see the Steelers winning the division. I’m going to give them the division title. I think their offense is that good. I still have concerns about their defense. I can’t put them in the Super Bowl yet. Not quite yet.”

Pittsburgh opens at Cleveland this Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.