Le’Veon Bell: 5 Best landing spots in 2019

Current Titan Malcolm Butler in his Patriots days. More

Time has run out for Le'Veon Bell to report to the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the running back now has given up the 2018 National Football League season.

The unusual decision to sit out won't prevent Bell from becoming a free agent next spring, when the three-time Pro Bowler hopes to cash in with a contract that would make him the highest-paid back in the NFL.

Bell, though, decided against it. and will now forfeit ALL of the $14.5 MILLION the Steelers were set to pay him this season.

Regardless of what happens next offseason, it has drawn a curtain on the Bell drama that has dragged on in Pittsburgh all season long as speculation has swirled for months about when he would rejoin the Steelers. Although there were reports saying the team expected him to report after its bye week, hope the 26-year-old would show up dwindled, and Bell's teammates grew exhausted of his holdout.

Pittsburgh coach Mike Tomlin was also decidedly not making a pitch for Bell to come back on Tuesday.

The Steelers can still place the franchise tag on Bell for a third time after the season, but that is reportedly unlikely.

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Rocky franchise-tag negotiations created distance between Bell and the Steelers. If he signed a lucrative deal elsewhere, the Steelers would receive a midround compensatory draft pick.

Teammates once imagined the possibilities with an All-Pro tailback and an emerging weapon working together.

Tomlin said he expects Conner to be cleared from the concussion protocol by Wednesday, allowing him to play at the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday.

Bell, who will turn 27 in February, had been training in South Florida and in July tweeted this season would be his "best to date".

The running back held out the entire preseason and first 10 weeks of the regular season over a contract dispute.

The makeover relied heavily on Bell, whose patient running style became his trademark while helping Pittsburgh to four straight playoff berths. Everyone is waiting to see if Bell will return to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Tuesday. By not showing up, Bell has officially walked away from all of that money. Now we know for sure, that won't be the case.

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