Bell is not in line to play in Thursday's preseason game against the Falcons, Ralph Vacchiano of SportsNet New York reports.
With the Jets working Bell into the mix carefully given that he didn't play a down last season as a result of his contract dispute, it's unclear if the running back will see any action in the team's third preseason game, Aug. 24 against the Saints.
Bell won't play in Thursday's preseason opener against the Giants, Brian Costello of the New York Post reports.
The report also notes that the Jets' free-agent pickup will participate in pregame warm-ups, but the team has decided to work Bell into the mix deliberately since he didn't play a down last season due to a contract dispute. Beyond Thursday's tilt, it's unclear how coach Adam Gase plans to proceed with Bell. On one hand, Bell could probably use some game reps to shake off some rust. On the other hand, there's a downside to exposing Bell to unnecessary preseason punishment. Either way, assuming he makes it through training camp and the exhibition slate without any injuries, Bell is slated to head the Jets' backfield, where his dynamic rushing and receiving skills will provide a huge lift to the team's offense.
Bell participated in only two spring practices with the Jets, so he's still in the process of building chemistry with quarterback Sam Darnold and the rest of his new teammates, Matt Stypulkoski of NJ.com reports.
Bell opted to work out on his own versus participating in voluntary OTAs, so he hasn't shared the field with his new teammates much as of yet. With training camp and the preseason still to come, the superstar running back still has plenty of time to familiarize himself with his new situation in the Big Apple after sitting out all of the 2018 season for the Steelers. Bell plays a crucial role as a receiver out of the backfield in addition to his work on the ground. Thus, getting on the same page as Darnold will be imperative for the offense to hit the ground running come Week 1.
Bell arrived at the Jets' facility and is expected to report for mandatory minicamp Tuesday, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com reports.
Bell was absent for voluntary workouts and OTAs, as he elected to work out on his own during the offseason. It's nothing new for the 27-year-old, who employed a similar strategy while with the Steelers. Fresh off signing a four-year, $52.5 million deal with the Jets in March, Bell is poised to be the centerpiece of the offense after sitting out the 2018 season.
Bell hasn't been present at the Jets' team facility since the first week of voluntary workouts, Connor Hughes of The Athletic reports.
This doesn't seem to be a point of contention, as Bell likely informed the Jets of his plan when he signed a four-year, $52.5 million contract last month. He's always preferred to work out on his own during the offseason -- something that may have played a role in his inability to secure a long-term contract with Pittsburgh. In any case, the 27-year-old has plenty of time to get in shape and learn coach Adam Gase's playbook before rejoining his teammates for OTAs in May or mandatory minicamp in June. Gase said he'll be cautious about overworking his star runner, but it will be tough to take Bell off the field for more than a breather when the backfield alternatives are Ty Montgomery, Elijah McGuire, Trenton Cannon and De'Angelo Henderson.
Coach Adam Gase said the Jets will cater the offense around Bell in 2019, Randy Lange of the team's official site reports. "We'll easily be able to adapt to what Le'Veon does in the run game," Gase mentioned. "It's just going to take more of the chemistry part of line, him, quarterback, receivers, tight ends, everybody just getting used to playing with each other. And the run schemes that he's really good at, we'd be fools to not to do those."
After holding out last season, Bell finally wrested himself free of the Steelers, and despite missing out on the $14.5 franchise tender, netted a four-year, $52.5 million contract from the Jets during the legal tampering period in mid-March. He immediately becomes the focus of the entire Jets offense behind signal-caller Sam Darnold, who showed promise in 13 starts as a rookie. Bell himself is just 27 years old, but he also had the most touches (1,252) and snaps (2,932) among running backs between 2014 and 2018. Gase addressed the high usage, saying, "We'll keep an eye on that." During the aforementioned stretch, Bell averaged 409 touches for 2,200 yards from scrimmage and 11 touchdowns per 16 games, so there's little doubt he'll be among the first handful of players selected during draft season.
Bell agreed to a four-year, $52.5 million contract with the Jets on Tuesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Earlier Tuesday the Jets gave Bell a deadline to decide if he would sign with them, and Bell finally came to terms with $13.125 million per year. Bell held out the entire 2018 season despite having a $14.54 million tender on the table, but this deal gives the versatile back more long-term security even though it's at a lower annual rate. Bell averaged 141.8 scrimmage yards per game over his last two campaigns, but he hasn't played an NFL snap since the 2017 season. He'll be the clear-cut No. 1 running back for the Jets, and his receiving abilities -- and mere presence -- will boost Sam Darnold's value moving forward.
The Jets have given Bell a deadline to decide if he will sign with them, Connor Hughes of The Athletic reports.
Matt Schneidman of The San Jose Mercury News reports the Raiders are still alive in the bidding, while Ian Rapoport of NFL Network suggests the Ravens have emerged as the favorites to sign Mark Ingram. The Jets presumably intend to revoke their contract offer and shift the focus to other running backs if Bell doesn't make a decision before the unspecified deadline.
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said Wednesday that the team wouldn't use the transition tag on Bell, who thus becomes a free agent March 13 at the beginning of the new league year, Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Despite rumors to the contrary, it never made much sense for Pittsburgh to use the tag, as doing so would have left the team at risk of losing Bell without any compensation. The 27-year-old will now be part of the compensatory draft pick formula for 2020, likely bring the Steelers a selection at the end of the third or fourth round. Even after sitting out the entire 2018 season, Bell should have his own price range among the free-agent class of running backs. Mark Ingram, Tevin Coleman, Jay Ajayi (knee), Latavius Murray, C.J. Anderson and Adrian Peterson are the other big names available.
The Jets are expected to pursue Bell during the offseason, NJ.com's Darryl Slater reports.
Flush with cap space and short on explosive playmakers, the Jets have long been rumored as a potential fit for Bell, though the interest isn't necessarily mutual. It remains to be seen if the Steelers will use a transition tag, which would allow them to work out a trade or match any offer sheet but also would eliminate the possibility of a compensatory draft pick. A third consecutive franchise tag with the intention of keeping Bell in Pittsburgh seems to be out of the question at a cost upward of $20 million, so there's little question Bell will have the opportunity to find a new team. He'll turn 27 in February after sitting out the entire 2018 season.
Bell could receive a transition tag from the Steelers during the offseason, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports.
Bell became ineligible for 2018 when he failed to report to the Steelers on Tuesday. He will now turn his focus to the upcoming offseason, at which point a third franchise tag would be prohibitively expensive for the Steelers, thus giving Bell all the leverage. The Steelers still have the option to use a transition tag for approximately $14.5 million, which would give them the right to match any offer sheet Bell signs with another team. The problem with that option is a lack of draft-pick compensation, whereas Pittsburgh likely would receive a mid-round pick if it simply allowed Bell to become an unrestricted free agent. The final option makes the most sense and would enable Bell to choose his next home without the Steelers having any involvement. He'll turn 27 years old in February and may find that some teams are worried about his year-long absence from football, even though the running back met his stated goal of avoiding wear and tear during a contract year.
Bell (contract dispute) won't report to the Steelers by Tuesday's 4 p.m. EST deadline, making him ineligible for the rest of the 2018 season, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
This was the expected outcome for Bell, despite reports of him being spotted in Pittsburgh last week. Bell will thus turn his attention to the offseason, when he could hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent unless the Steelers elect to use a transition tag on him. Despite skipping all of 2018, a number of teams will likely be vying for Bell's services, given his status as one of the league's best backs over the first five years of his career. As for the rest of this season, James Conner (concussion) -- who is expected to clear the NFL five-step protocol for head injuries Wednesday -- should remain the workhorse back for the Steelers. Stevan Ridley and Jaylen Samuels also remain on hand as depth options.
Bell (contract dispute) isn't expected to report to the Steelers by Tuesday's deadline, which would make him ineligible to return this season, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Bell was spotted in Pittsburgh earlier this week but has yet to join the team and has offered no further indication he intends to report, even though owner Art Rooney II recently told SiriusXM NFL Radio he believed the running back would be in the fold by Tuesday. If Schefter's report comes to pass and the 26-year-old does end up taking off the full season, he'll apparently be content to head into free agency knowing Pittsburgh is unlikely to issue the franchise tag a third time, though it's worth noting the Steelers could try a transition tag angle. James Conner (concussion) would continue to act as the workhorse back for the Steelers if Bell remains away from the team, assuming Conner's head injury doesn't prove to be significant. Stevan Ridley and Jaylen Samuels are the remaining running backs on the roster.
Owner Art Rooney II told SiriusXM NFL Radio that he believes Bell (contract dispute) will report to the Steelers by next Tuesday's deadline to sign the franchise tender. "I don't know what his plans are, but I would say at this point we expect him to come back next week," Rooney said of Bell on Thursday. "We know he's back in Pittsburgh and so we're hoping to have some communications with him over the weekend and we're kind of expecting he will be back next week."
Rumor and innuendo have dominated Bell's holdout, with a will-he-or-won't-he report to Pittsburgh hanging over the situation throughout the offseason and into the regular season. This week, though, the first signs emerged that the running back is preparing to report. On Monday, he tweeted "Fairwell (sic) Miami," referencing where he's been staying in shape while away from football. By Wednesday, Bell was spotted playing a game of pickup basketball in Pittsburgh, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. Despite his presence within striking distance of the Steelers' facilities, he's missing his ninth consecutive game Thursday against the Panthers. While Bell plays out the string with the only team he's ever known, James Conner will continue to serve as the Steelers' workhorse back.
Though Bell is eligible to receive a franchise tag for the third straight year in 2019, he would be tagged at the quarterback salary number, which is projected for approximately $25 million, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com reports.
Bell has been dissatisfied with receiving the franchise tag for the last two years, but he would presumably be more receptive to the designation if it put him on track to earn an estimated $25 million, which would easily top the salary of any other running back. The Steelers presumably wouldn't be as interested in using the franchise tag on him in that scenario, however, though the team could pursue a transition tag that would keep Bell around at a more affordable price. As for the remainder of 2018, Bell has until Nov. 13 to sign a franchise tender in order to retain eligibility to play this season. The running back was reportedly spotted in the Pittsburgh area Wednesday, fueling speculation that he may soon report to the team and put pen to paper. Bell will at least remain unavailable through the Steelers' Week 10 matchup with the Panthers on Thursday, allowing James Conner to continue serving as the team's lead back.
Bell was spotted playing basketball Wednesday at a gym in Pittsburgh, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports.
Bell announced his departure from Miami via social media Monday, leading to speculation he was headed back to Pittsburgh to rejoin the Steelers. He reportedly hasn't been in contact with the team, but his presence in the surrounding area seemingly hints at an intention to sign his franchise tender before the Nov. 11 deadline. As for Week 10, James Conner is primed for another huge workload Thursday against the Panthers, with Bell potentially joining the team at some point shortly thereafter.
Though Bell -- who has been working out in Miami of late -- tweeted "Farewell Miami" earlier Monday, the Steelers still haven't heard from the running back, Adam Schefter of ESPN reports.
Meanwhile, the team is preparing for Thursday night's game against the Panthers, and with Bell still not in the fold, James Conner is in line to head the team's backfield once again Week 10. Beyond that, Bell is subject to a deadline of Nov. 13 to report to the Steelers in order to play this season. Week 11 is thus a pivotal juncture in terms of Bell's status, and concrete news pertaining to that could arrive any day now.
Bell isn't expected to report to the Steelers before Thursday's game against the Panthers, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports.
Having already waited this long, Bell has little reason to rejoin the team before the Nov. 13 deadline to sign his franchise tag. He might come back a few days early to help himself prepare for a Week 11 game in Jacksonville, but a Week 10 appearance seems out of the question. Bell hasn't said anything about his plans, though it's generally assumed he'll sign before the deadline to ensure he can become a free agent after this season. James Conner's emergence adds a layer of intrigue, not to mention that Bell might not be the best version of himself after a lengthy layoff from football.
Bell (contract dispute) has yet to provide the Steelers with a definitive timeline for his return to the team, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports reports.
While Bell nor his agent haven't outlined their plans, the expectation remains that the running back with sign his franchise tender on or before Nov. 13, a day after the Week 10 games conclude. That's the last date Bell could sign while still being eligible to play this season and thus retaining free-agency status during the upcoming offseason. As La Canfora notes, the NFL's collective bargaining agreement stipulates that a player must only sign his contract by that Nov. 13 deadline to maintain eligibility, so there's a chance that Bell may not actually report to the team until as late as Nov. 17, one day prior to the Week 11 game against the Jaguars. If Bell opts to go that route, it's hard to imagine the Steelers making him active for the game against Jacksonville, given his lack of practice time in advance. More clarity on Bell's messy situation should come soon, but his window for making a fantasy impact is getting smaller with each day he remains away from the Steelers, especially with James Conner performing productively in his stead.
Bell (contract dispute) wasn't present at the Steelers' facility Wednesday for their first practice of Week 9, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
It became apparent coming out of the Steelers' Week 7 bye that Bell would remain away from the team through Tuesday's trade deadline, but it wasn't known how exactly he planned to proceed after he stuck around with Pittsburgh when the deadline passed. Bell's continued absence from the team for the start of Week 9 preparations ensures that he won't suit up in Sunday's game against the Ravens, clearing the way for James Conner to once again lead the Steelers' backfield. It now looks increasingly likely that Bell's holdout will extend until Week 11, the latest date he could sign his franchise tender and still retain eligibility for unrestricted free agency in 2019.
|2019||New York Jets||0||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0|
|2019||New York Jets||0||0||0||0||---||0||0||0||0||0|
|2019||New York Jets||0||0||0||0||---||0||---||0||0||0||0/0||0||0||---|
|2019||New York Jets||0||0||0.0||0||0||0||0||0.0||0||0||0|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|
|2019||New York Jets||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|