The prolific running back has to report to the team and sign his franchise tender by Nov. 13 or he won't be eligible to play this season season. So far, Bell and his representatives haven't told the Steelers when -- or if -- he will report to the team, a source informed of the situation told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport.
It's anyone's guess if Bell will indeed report to the Steelers in the days ahead. Bell said he'd show up on Labor Day; he didn't. He was reportedly aiming to return during Pittsburgh's Week 7 bye; that didn't happen and last week's trade deadline didn't spur him into signing his tender, either.
With the Steelers playing two games over the next five days, Bell wouldn't be available to play for Pittsburgh until Week 11.
If he doesn't sign his tender by the Nov. 13 deadline and continues to forfeit more than $855,000 per week in search of a new contract, the Steelers will have to decide whether or not they'd be willing to franchise tag or transition tag Bell in 2019 in hopes of working out a potential trade deal.
Bell sacrificing a chance to test the free-agent market in 2019 by not signing his tender seems unlikely, but Bell's prolonged absence has trained us to expect the unexpected.