That deal didn't get done -- and Bell remains away from the team -- but coach Mike Tomlin has moved on.
"I am focused on the guys that are here. My mentality regarding Le'Veon would be very similar to the way it was a year ago," Tomlin said Wednesday. "Obviously both sides tried in earnest to get a deal done. We weren't able to do that. Now we transition and move forward to our 2018 season. When he gets here we will evaluate his overall readiness and how much time he missed and see the ramifications of that. Until then, I'm going to be extremely focused on those that are here working and their development. I just think that is appropriate."
Tomlin went out of his way to say he's engaged in "normal" communication with Bell, but balked at answering whether he expects the Pro Bowler to eventually hit camp.
"Boy that's a cute question," Tomlin said. "Again, I am going to stay focused with where I am at, respectfully. I am done with the Le'Veon questions."
Bell stayed away from last year's camp, too, perhaps a factor in his sluggish start to the season. Tomlin, though, said Bell's effort was never an issue, telling reporters: "I thought he did a nice job when he showed up a year ago in terms of his overall approach and attitude. I didn't have any qualms with that."
"I want to stay focused on the guys that are here," Tomlin uttered in a not-so-subtle suggestion that he's done with all Bell curiosities. "Respectfully, that is going to be my position."