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An OLine scorned: Le’Veon Bell’s teammates suggest he should ‘just sit out the whole year then’

Seemingly set to face the Cleveland Browns without Le’Veon Bell in the backfield, his teammates appear to running out of sympathy for a player they believe has misled them

New Orleans Saints v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Even if none of his teammates really expected to see Le’Veon Bell in training camp this offseason, there seemed to be an overriding sense of belief that he would arrive at team facilities before the Pittsburgh Steelers faced the Cleveland Browns in their season opener. After he failed to show on Wednesday and his agent gave a radio interview on his clients behalf suggesting Bell would not be ending his holdout anytime soon, there has been a change of heart in the locker room.

Players who had once his back in the face of criticism from many within Steeler Nation appear to have reached their limit in terms of sympathy, and there was a palpable sense of betrayal from many along the offensive line when speaking to the media after practice.

Ramon Foster was one of the more vocal names to call out the team’s star running back, clearly offended by a player so willing to walk away from significantly more money than virtually anyone else on the roster will earn in 2018.

Maurkice Pouncey was equally offended by Bell’s actions and rather notably, the remarks of his agent.

David DeCastro seemed to feel he had been misled by Bell, clearly expecting him to have arrived in Pittsburgh by now.

The criticism was not just limited to the members of the offensive line, with defensive team captain Cam Heyward obviously disappointed Bell had not ended his holdout.

A sentiment echo by other unnamed teammates, albeit sometimes less diplomatically.

If a protracted holdout is on the cards, as insinuated by Bell’s agent on Wednesday, it can only be imagined what will have happened to the relationship between the absentee running back and his teammates by the time he finally arrives. Bell has already proved to be rather sensitive when it comes to criticism on social media and it is hard to believe he is not offended by these latest remarks.

As difficult as it might be for him to do, avoiding another ill-timed response of his own could be the best course of action, but diplomacy has never been his strong point. Maybe he can channel his angst into another rap instead, everyone is sure to really enjoy that.