Here's what Le'Veon Bell did for James Conner hours before the franchise tag deadline

The long and winding Le'Veon Bell franchise tag drama has nearly reached its conclusion. As I sit here and write this post, there are two hours and 58 minutes left for Bell to sign his tender and report to the team, lest he be ineligible to play for the entire season. 

There have seemingly 1,000 twists and turns in this saga, with a whole bunch of breathless reports about if and when Bell would show up. Tuesday will finally put an end to all that speculation. In the meantime, here's what Le'Veon himself is actually up to. 

Voting for James Conner to make the Pro Bowl? Um, OK. Not sure how to read that one. 

Surely, Conner is deserving of the honor. Through the first 10 weeks of the season the second-year back ranks third in the NFL in rushing yards and rushing touchdowns, and he is essentially out-performing what Bell himself did last year. He's been a force on the ground and through the air and the Steelers should feel really good about having him in the fold for the future. 

But does Bell showing his support for Conner mean he's getting ready to return, or that he's staying away and assuming Conner will keep things going? Bell did tweet that it was "time to pass the sticks" during the Steelers' blowout win over the Panthers last Thursday night, but that could easily have been a reference to the Panthers needing to let someone else try to beat Pittsburgh. 

Perhaps he means Conner has been so good so far this season that he deserves a Pro Bowl berth no matter what happens after Le'Veon himself returns. But perhaps he means that Conner's got things covered and will continue his Pro Bowl-caliber season. 

The truth is nobody knows. But we'll all find out in a couple hours. 

CBS Sports Writer

Jared Dubin is a New York lawyer and writer. He joined CBSSports.com in 2014 and has since spent far too much of his time watching film and working in spreadsheets. Full Bio

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