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Steelers player on Le’Veon Bell’s absence: ‘Nobody cares’

Le’Veon Bell will be a noticeable absence for at least a good portion of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offseason program for the second year in a row.

Whether it is due to familiarity or weariness over having to again answer question after question about the standout running back again being a no-show for workouts, Steelers players seem to be dealing with the likelihood they won’t see their teammate for awhile with at least reluctant acceptance.

Steelers offensive lineman David DeCastro appears to be taking a “Been there, done that” approach with Bell’s holdout and expected absence from training camp.

“I don’t know. You look at last year as a pattern, it’s probably not good,” DeCastro said, via ESPN. “It will probably be the exact same. I’d put money on it. But you never know. There’s always a chance.”

Wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, on the other hand, is a bit less pragmatic about the situation, indicating the team is ready to move on and prepare for the season with or without Bell.

“I think last year a lot of guys were like, ‘Oh, Le’Veon’s not here,'” Heyward-Bey said. “Nobody cares. We’re out here and we have to get work done. … We’ll see him when we see him. Next man up.”

The latest indication of Bell’s demands suggest that he won’t accept anything less than $14.5 million per year. Interestingly, that is what Bell would earn playing on the franchise tag in 2018 for the second season in a row.

While most Steelers players are playing both sides in a manner of speaking when it comes to the standoff between Bell and the Steelers, Antonio Brown last month strongly advised Bell to figure things out and be with his teammates.

Bell has long coveted the security afforded by signing a long-term contract. Regardless of whether or not that comes to fruition anytime soon — the parties have until July 16 to hammer such a deal out — Steelers general manager Kevin Colbert insisted in March that Bell will “be a Pittsburgh Steeler in 2018.”

It might just be that Bell does not join the team until September.