Le’Veon Bell removes association with Steelers on social media accounts | TribLIVE.com
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Joe Rutter

Le’Veon Bell is disassociating himself from the Pittsburgh Steelers on his social media accounts.

Is that a sign he plans to sit out the rest of the season before testing free agency in 2019?

Bell has removed any references to the Steelers in his Twitter and Instagram bios, identifying himself instead as an “All Pro NFL Running back.” As recently as Nov. 4, he continued to label himself as “Running Back, Pittsburgh Steelers.”

Bell has until Tuesday at 4 p.m. to report to the team and sign his franchise-tag tender. Once that deadline passes, he cannot play this season — for the Steelers or any other team, per NFL rules. Bell already has forfeited $7.7 million of his $14.544 million franchise-tag tender by staying away from the team for the first nine weeks of the NFL season.

Steelers president Art Rooney II told SiriusXM NFL Radio on Thursday night that he expect Bell to play for the Steelers this season.

“I don’t know what his plans are, but I would say that at this point we would expect him to come back next week,” Rooney II said. “We know he’s back in Pittsburgh. We’re hoping to have some communication with him over the weekend.”

Bell created a stir on social media in late February when he changed his Twitter profile photo from one of him wearing a Steelers uniform to a photo of Bell wearing a red hoodie. He also changed his handle from @L_Bell26 to @LeVeonBell.

Then, on Wednesday night, Bell wrote a series of tweets that were posted upside down.

Joe Rutter is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Joe at [email protected] or via Twitter @tribjoerutter.

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