NFL teammates turn on star: ‘He f***ed us’
LE'VEON Bell's holdout is getting old fast in the Steelers' locker room.
The star running back was ripped by his teammates after Wednesday's practice, to which Bell was a no-show again as he tries to bargain for a long-term contract instead of signing a $20 (USD$14.5) million franchise tag.
"What do you do? Here's a guy who doesn't give a damn, I guess so we'll treat it as such," guard Ramon Foster said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "I just hate it came to this.
"He's making seven times what I make, twice as much as [left tackle Al Villanueva] is making and we're the guys who do it for him."
Bell has not stepped foot in the Steelers' facilities in almost eight months. The team appeared hopeful he would report this week - as he did last year to end his holdout when Week 1 began - but with Sunday's (Monday morning AEST) opener against the Browns looming, his support appears to be losing steam.
Bell's agent, Adisa Bakari, told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Wednesday morning that Bell will "get there when he's there."
Bakari said he wanted to know what GM Kevin Colbert and head coach Mike Tomlin's plan would be for Bell this year.
"That's just stupid," centre Maurkice Pouncey said, according to NFL Network. "You can't play football like that.
"Why play hide and seek? Why let your agent say this? Just man up and tell us what you're going to do."
The sudden heel-turn on Bell appears co-ordinated. A veteran Steeler told ESPN they waited to criticise Bell after he did not report Monday, giving him a chance to come in Wednesday. But when he still didn't show up, their patience ran out.
"He f - ked us," the player said.