Mike Tomlin ‘not comfortable’ with Le’Veon Bell holdout
The Pittsburgh Steelers play their first preseason game Friday against the New York Giants and Le’Veon Bell has not yet made an appearance at training camp. Head coach Mike Tomlin admitted recently he’s “not comfortable” with the running back’s continued absence.
Tomlin stated earlier this week that while he’s been in contact with Bell, he indicated he doesn’t know when the running back may report. With Bell still holding out, it’s clear Tomlin isn’t happy with the situation.
“I’m not. I’m not comfortable. I think it would be naïve to be comfortable,” Tomlin said of the Bell situation during an interview with Steelers.com. “If somebody is not here working and developing in the formal ways that we subscribe, then there are potential consequences for that. Consequences for him individually. There are consequences for us collectively. So, no I’m not (comfortable).”
The Steelers placed the franchise tag on Bell back in February but have been unable to hammer out a deal. When Bell does report, he will have to sign the one-year, $12.12 million tender.
Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert said this week that “there’s nothing to be gained” from Bell’s continued holdout and that it “hurts” Bell not to be in camp.
Bell views himself not only as the Steelers’ top running back but as the No. 2 wide receiver as well, which in large part has fueled his holdout in a bid for a bigger contract.
Reports indicate that the Steelers offered Bell a deal upwards of $42 million over three years but that clearly didn’t satisfy the running back.
Bell put up monster numbers in only 12 games last season, rushing for 1,268 yards while tacking on 616 receiving yards and nine total touchdowns. Given the Steelers offense arguably runs through Bell, it’s hardly shocking Tomlin isn’t thrilled with his absence.