Sportress of Blogitude

Le’Veon Bell reportedly spotted at Pittsburgh-area health club

Le’Veon Bell reportedly has yet to touch base with the Pittsburgh Steelers amid his protracted absence, but his return to the team potentially could be imminent given the disgruntled star was purportedly spotted at a local health club.

A manager for an L.A. Fitness in North Pittsburgh has confirmed to ESPN that Bell was at the health club playing pickup basketball on Tuesday night.

Photographs and video have surfaced on social media amid Bell’s sighting, one of  which certainly appears to be legitimate.

Bell recently announced his departure from Miami, Fla., where he has been spending time training, among other things, during his absence. He must sign his $14.5 million franchise tender by next Tuesday in order to play this season.

The expectation has been Bell would wait until the last minute to return to the Steelers in an effort to limit wear and tear on his body ahead of free agency, meaning Week 11 next week. However, a recent interpretation of the NFL collective bargaining agreement indicates Bell may not even show up at all this season, as relayed by The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly:

“A source confirmed to The Athletic that Bell is now contemplating whether or not he will show up by the Nov. 13 franchise tag deadline based on newly learned information from the collective bargaining agreement that would allow him to be deemed as a third-year franchise player in 2019 rather than to revert to the second year, even if he doesn’t report.”

In other words, just because Bell is in Pittsburgh does not necessarily mean he’s set to rejoin the team, given how this new information further muddles an already-messy situation.

Suffice to say, the long-awaited end to the endless Le’Veon Bell Saga could conceivably drag on, perhaps into yet another uncertain offseason.