Mike Tomlin on Le'Veon Bell holdout: We need volunteers, not hostages

NFL AFC Divisional Playoff Jacksonville at Pittsburgh Steelers

Following his team's fourth straight win, Pittsburgh Steelers offensive lineman David DeCastro said it didn't matter if running back Le'Veon Bell ends his holdout and returns to the team. Those decisions are Le'Veon's.

"We haven't spent a lot of time focused on [Bell being gone] because it's not within our control". "We need volunteers, not hostages, so we're focused on the guys who are here and working and James [Conner] is definitely in that mix".

It's tough to interpret two words, especially when one of them isn't even a word (I think he meant farewell), but Bell seems to be indicating that he's finally leaving Miami after spending the past few months training down in South Beach. "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it". It marked Conner's third consecutive 100-rushing yard game, this time against a Baltimore "D' that entered Week 9 ranked first overall".

But nonetheless, his skills on the field would be a huge help to this Steelers team looking to get back to the playoffs, so fans would probably get over it pretty quickly if he played well.

Tomlin addressed the emergence of Conner, who has been a revelation in his second season in the NFL. Not only that, but the value of the tag will be significantly less than the franchise tag amount of $14.5 million.

Other reports indicate Pittsburgh didn't receive calls from teams interested in the disgruntled back prior to the trade deadline. But the clock is ticking for Bell, and he must report to the Steelers by 4 p.m. on November 13 in order to preserve his eligibility for this season.

Bell, who forfeits $855,000 for each week he fails to sign the franchise tag, told ESPN on October 1 that he would play football this year and did not expect to be traded.

Bell has been absent for the Steelers' entire 2018 campaign as he holds out for a new contract. Of course, the longer his holdout persists, the likelihood of playing anything but second fiddle to Conner upon his return decreases.

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