Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell has shown no signs of backing down from his pledge to stay away from the team for a second straight offseason as long as he doesn’t have a long-term contract and the lack of progress toward a deal means it’s likely to be a while before he’s back with the club.
One of Bell’s teammates is suggesting a different course of action. Wide receiver Antonio Brown spent a couple of years trying to get a long-term deal, but never held out while getting a couple of small adjustments to his deal before landing a full extension last year.
“Well, the first rule of getting better is showing up,” Brown said, via the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. “You can’t make anything better without showing up. So I think if you show up, I think everyone will understand where you want to be. That you wants to be here not just this year but for years to come. Come out here and show up, show you want to get better and show guys you’re serious.”
While Brown thinks that showing up could lead to the deal that Bell wants with the Steelers, he’s not worried that the running back’s absence will hurt him on the field. Bell finished third in rushing after reporting to work before the first game of the season last year and Brown said he has not doubt his teammate will be “physically ready” come September.
The running back and the Steelers have until July 16 to work out an extension. If not, Bell will be set to make $14.5 million under the terms of his second straight franchise tag.