The back and forth regarding whether or not Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell will play this season seems to have been resolved.
"I understand that business is an element of the game of football", Tomlin said.
The unusual decision to sit out won't prevent Bell from becoming a free agent next spring, when the three-time Pro Bowler hopes to cash in with a contract that would make him the highest-paid back in the NFL.
The NFL's 4pm deadline has come and gone, and Bell did not report to the PittsburghSteelers to sign the franchise tender, meaning he is officially ineligible for the remainder of the season.
Bell had lost out on $8.5 million in wages for the 2018 season already and will now lose out on an additional $6 million. When asked what happens if Bell never returns to the Steelers, head coach Mike Tomlin said Tuesday afternoon, "So be it", according to ESPN.
Bell's season-long holdout potentially could be risky.
The Steelers explored dealing Bell before the October 30 trade deadline, but no deal was possible without his signature.
When Bell and the Steelers failed to reach an agreement on a new deal last summer, he said "both sides worked extremely hard" in an attempt to get something done. But this time, Bell didn't show up in September.
James Conner will remain the starting running back of the Steelers.
But Bell's commitment to carrying out his threat ultimately made it real, as he now has forfeited the entirety of that salary, along with some ancillary retirement benefits he would have collected from the league for playing this season.
A more likely scenario would be for the Steelers to place the transition tag on Bell.
The makeover relied heavily on Bell, whose patient running style became his trademark while helping Pittsburgh to four straight playoff berths.
Bell's saga with the Steelers is over. The first two - linebacker Karlos Dansby and quarterback Kirk Cousins - played all 16 games during their second season under the tag then went and cashed in elsewhere in free agency.
It's not often players of Bell's caliber hit the open market, but that will happen this offseason.
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An AT&T worker sifts through a friend's burned vehicle during the Camp fire in Paradise , California, US on November 10, 2018. A group of deers walk through properties destroyed by the the Camp Fire in Paradise, California, US on November 9, 2018.
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