"Appreciate the cleats, my guy!"
Le'Veon Bell's time with the Pittsburgh Steelers has seemingly come to an unceremonious conclusion after he failed to report before Tuesday's 4pm deadline. Today, his teammates began cleaning out his locker.
According to Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Steelers players removed Le’Veon Bell’s name over his locker and started dividing up his many Air Jordan 11 cleats and other football gear, as seen in the video embedded below.
The scene in Pittsburgh's locker room today comes after head coach Mike Tomlin and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger told reporters that their texts to Bell went unanswered.
“I texted him yesterday, didn’t hear back, and wish him nothing but the best, he was a great teammate and football player,” Roethlisberger said before practice Wednesday, according to Sports Illustrated. “To each their own what they want to walk away from.”
Bell, who turns 27 in February, had 7,996 total yards and 42 touchdowns in 62 games as a starter for the Steelers. He will enter free agency next summer with a clean bill of health, though he also missed out on $14.5 million by forfeiting the entire 2018 season. Had he signed before Tuesday's deadline, he still would have been able to recoup approximately $6 million.
Meanwhile, his former team is currently riding a five game winning streak that has them sitting atop the AFC North with a 6-2-1 record. Additionally, Bell's replacement James Conner ranks second in the NFL with 1,158 yards from scrimmage and has reached the endzone 11 times.