Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell was posting on social media and playing video games while his teammates were going through a minicamp practice Tuesday.
And while they’d clearly prefer to have him around, those that were there largely shrugged at his absence.
Via Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said he was indifferent about it.
“I really am,” Tomlin said. “It’s a waste of my time to focus on the guys that are not available to me, whether it’s an injury or otherwise.”
Bell is recovering from groin surgery in March but still falls in the “otherwise” portion of that group. The Steelers put the franchise tag on him, which will pay him $12.1 million. But he hasn’t signed the tender yet, which exempts him from being fined for skipping the mandatory work. He wasn’t at the voluntary portion either, as he waits on either a new contract or the July 15 deadline for one to pass.
Teammates are still exerting the not-so-subtle pressure on him.
“I told him that we need him here,” right tackle Marcus Gilbert said. “I know he’s doing what it takes to show up in great physical conditioning, but him showing his face and being around the guys, I think that would be even better. . . .
“He’s a professional and has carried himself well, and there won’t be any issues. But you want that continuity and for him to be around the guys, just the feeling around this locker room. It doesn’t get any better than this.”
Well, it does if you’ve been paid. And that’s what Bell’s waiting on.