Steelers owner Art Rooney II isn’t planning on trading star running back Le’Veon Bell, despite his ongoing holdout.
With the Oct. 30 trade deadline approaching, Rooney said his expectation is that the team will keep Bell, though he admitted he didn’t think the saga would go on for this long.
“I expect him to be a member of the team going forward,” Rooney told NFL Network. “That’s my expectation.”
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) October 21, 2018
Bell initially was expected to end his holdout and report to the Steelers’ facility during the Week 7 bye at the end of October, though he reportedly hasn’t had any contact with the team. He has not re-joined the team as of Sunday, which means a return during the team’s week off is unlikely.
“I think the team has handled it well,” Rooney said. “The players have adjusted, just carrying on without him. That’s all you can do. But it’s early in the season, we have a long way to go. We just have to keep getting better every week. Can’t take anything for granted.”
Bell, who has racked up 5,336 rushing yards, 2,660 receiving yards and 42 touchdowns in his first five seasons, still hasn’t signed his franchise tag in hopes of securing a long-term contract.
The Nov. 13 deadline for Bell to sign his tender falls during Week 11 when Pittsburgh is scheduled to visit the Jaguars.