Whispered about as a trade candidate, Bell reportedly planned to rejoin the Steelers this week in order to accrue a season toward free agency while simultaneously reducing the 16-game wear-and-tear on his body.
Bell is a three-time Pro Bowler.
If it weren't for a lone reporter sitting across the street outside UPMC Rooney Sports Complex monitoring the entrance to the facility, it would've been just like any other Steelers Monday over the past six weeks.
But this upcoming week also will be a bye week for the Steelers, who will be off Thursday and Friday because of the mandate in the collective bargaining agreement that says players must have four consecutive days off during their bye week.
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Additionally, Bell is costing himself money by not returning during the bye week. But finding someone who will take on Bell's salary for half a season, without knowing what kind of shape he's in and remaining unsure whether or not Bell will play ball, could be hard. "I still do want to go out there and win a Super Bowl with the Steelers".
So Bell could be in for a surprise if/when he shows up, and he may not like what he hears from the Steelers.
Bell hasn't signed his $14.5 million franchise tag while preserving his health for a long-term contract in Pittsburgh or elsewhere.
Not only did he not report, but he has no plans to report. Bell has talked to no one, and has been seen by no one.
The Steelers also could elect to trade Bell by the National Football League deadline, which is October 30.