The Steelers have loads of work to do this offseason, but it may pale in comparison to the load the offense will have to carry, if the Steelers' alleged assumption is correct.
ESPN's John Clayton reported Wednesday the Steelers expect the NFL to hand down a two-game suspension for All Pro running back Le'Veon Bell.
Bell and ex-Steelers RB LeGarrette Blount were arrested in August, Bell for DUI as well as marijuana possession. The pair were on their way to the airport to catch a flight to Philadelphia for the team's preseason game against the Eagles.
Blount has already received a sentence of community service, which he has successfully completed.
Bell's DUI charge, under the league's new conduct policy, is likely to fetch a two-game suspension. It hasn't been confirmed, and it isn't set for the start of the season, necessarily, but it does appear to be heading down that path.
We've also speculated the NFL would love to send Pittsburgh to New England to take on the defending champion Patriots in Week 1. With Blount active for the home team, and Bell nowhere near the game, fans crying foul will certainly be the topic of conversation.
The Steelers are 19-9 in games in which Bell has played since joining the team as a second round pick in 2013. They are 0-4, including 0-1 in the playoffs, when he doesn't play.
Bell became the only player in league history to have over 2,200 yards from scrimmage without fumbling, a mark he achieved in a first team All Pro season, his second in the league.