The Steelers have the option of doing so.
Who will be out there on Sunday on the field with Roethlisberger still is somewhat of a gray area as Le'Veon Bell has yet to report and sign his franchise tender.
While rumors circulated a trade could be the only solution in Bell's holdout, NFL Network reported Thursday the Steelers will not rescind the franchise tag or trade Bell. How much could Ekeler's role grow in his second season if he continues to do explosive things with every touch he gets?
He's one of the best in the league and earned the right to take his time, they said. Although Bell is one of the NFL's most valuable, versatile and, therefore, hardest-to-replace players, Pittsburgh is fortunate to have an offense capable of handling Bell's absence for multiple games.
The Steelers used to be in the business of winning Super Bowls, but it's been a decade since they won their sixth Lombardi Trophy. The Steelers typically sit players who don't practice in full on Fridays, and Bell hasn't entered team headquarters in almost eight months.
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His agent, Adisa Bakari, went on Sirius XM Radio and suggested that Bell might be waiting a long time, perhaps as long as Week 10, before he decides to show up. "Whether it's someone's first or a year ago, none of that should matter".
"At some point and you're like, 'All right, if you don't want to be here, it is what it is, hold out for 10 weeks", Pouncey said. Drafted 48th overall in 2013, Bell is a two-time first-team All-Pro and three-time Pro Bowler who has racked up almost 8,000 yards from scrimmage and 42 total touchdowns in 62 career games.
He made his debut in the 2013-2014 season and broke out the following season, rushing for a career-high 1,361 yards and scoring 11 rushing or receiving touchdowns. Bakari told NFL Live in an appearance Wednesday, "He's going to do the things necessary to protect his value long-term".
Bell fears that the Steelers are going to run him into the ground and that is basically what they did past year giving him 400-plus carries.
That's their way of saying, "You're it".