Le'Veon Bell was not bluffing. The Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro running back really was willing to sit out the full 2018 season, sacrificing his $14.5 million salary. With the deadline for Bell to report and still play this season passing Tuesday, all parties can turn toward what comes next.
I've spent recent days speaking with NFL execs to gauge what they think Bell will want in a new deal, what he's likely to get, how the Steelers will likely proceed and what other teams could have interest if Bell hits the market as expected.
There was an improbable takeaway: A Steelers team that surely hoped Bell would report early in the season likely entered this week preferring that he stay away, simply because the Pittsburgh offense is performing so well as presently configured.