REPORT: Le’Veon Bell Will Not Play In Week 1 vs Browns To “Protect His Long-Term Value”

This is what you call a business decision.

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell is not expected to play Sunday against the Cleveland Browns and according to his agent Adisa Bakari, Bell might be willing to continue his holdout into the season.

Bell has yet to sign his $14.5 million franchise tag and can become a free agent in 2018 as long as he signs it by Week 11. The team had hoped he would show up for the week, but he’s opting to holdout.

Bakari told ESPN’s NFL Live:

“He’s going to do the things necessary to protect his value long-term.

Le’Veon has several years left in football; we know his days in Pittsburgh are precarious at best; we also know how he’s been utilized in the past by the Steelers organization.”

Bell touched the ball a league-high 406 times while playing on a $12.12 million franchise tag last season, and Bell told ESPN in January that he wouldn’t touch the ball another 400 times without a contract that matches his worth as a player.

The Steelers and Bell have failed to reach a long-term agreement in each of the past two summers. Each week Bell skips, he forfeits $852,941.

According to ESPN’s Jermey Fowler, the Steelers have no plans to rescind Bell’s tender.