Steelers players reported to training camp on Thursday, but running back Le’Veon Bell wasn’t among them.
That comes as no surprise as Bell has not signed his $12.1 million franchise tender and players in that position tend to stay away from the early part of camp at the very least. The deadline to sign a longer deal passed on July 17, leaving that deal on the table through the start of the season unless the Steelers offer him more money or a promise not to use the franchise tag to make reporting more worth Bell’s while.
Wide receiver Antonio Brown has been lobbying Bell to report to work recently and continued that effort on Thursday.
“When trying to do something special, we would like all our guys here,” Brown said, via ESPN.com.
Brown’s overtures have fallen on deaf ears to this point, so the Steelers will begin practicing with rookie James Conner in position to take on a bigger workload at running back. How long that remains the case will be a big question for the Steelers as camp unfolds in the coming days and weeks.