STEELERS RB BELL NO-SHOW ON FIRST DAY
LATROBE, PA.» The Pittsburgh Steelers trickled into training camp Thursday in pickup trucks and Porsches, Rolls Royces and Rubicons.
And in the case of ageless linebacker James Harrison, a firetruck.
Offensive tackle Alejandro Villaneuva showed up too, arriving with pen in hand to sign a four-year contract that made the former Army Ranger a millionaire several times over as the protector of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger’s blind side for the rest of the decade.
Yet the player perhaps most vital to Pittsburgh was nowhere to be found.
While his teammates went through the customary opening paces, Le’Veon Bell never made it to St. Vincent College.
The Pro Bowler has yet to sign the franchise tender that will pay him more than $12 million this season.
Pittsburgh placed the franchise tag on Bell in the offseason, but was unable to find common ground for a long-term agreement.
General manager Kevin Colbert tabled any talks of revisiting an extension until after the 2017 season.
Bell, who averaged more than 150 yards of total offense last fall, tweeted: “I guess I just gotta get better” when the July 17 deadline passed without a new deal in place. While the 25-year-old is among the most versatile players in the league — Bell caught 75 passes in just 12 games last season — he has been suspended twice for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy and also has struggled to stay healthy.
Ravens could sign Kaepernick. OWINGS MILLS,
MD.» An injury to quarterback Joe Flacco might open the door for Colin Kaepernick to join the Baltimore Ravens.
Flacco missed the first full practice of training camp because of a back injury and is expected to be out for at least a week. Coach John Harbaugh said the team likely needs to bring in another quarterback and is considering Kaepernick, who opted out of his contract with the San Francisco 49ers in March.
• Offensive lineman John Urschel decided to retire from the NFL after just three seasons. Urschel was a 2014 fifth-round pick from Penn State in 2014.
Cards’ Johnson thinking big. GLENDALE, ARIZ.»
Entering his third NFL season, David Johnson believes he can accomplish something only two players have done in the league’s history.
Rush for 1,000 yards and catch 1,000 yards worth of passes in one season.
“Most definitely a realistic, for-sure goal,” he said, “just because I was so close last year and I feel like I have a lot more to improve.”
He led the NFL in yards from scrimmage last season with 2,118 — 1,239 rushing, 879 receiving.
Roger Craig and Marshall Faulk are the only NFL players to crack the 1,000-1,000 mark in a single season.
Footnotes. Reuben Foster has been cleared to go for the San Francisco 49ers after missing the offseason program rehabilitating his injured right shoulder. The status of San Francisco’s other first-round pick remains in doubt on the eve of the first training camp practice. No. 3 overall pick Solomon Thomas remained unsigned. … Linebacker Erik Walden, who had a career-high 11 sacks last season for Indianapolis and became a free agent this offseason, agreed to a deal with the Titans the day before Tennessee reports for training camp, according to his agent.
Running back Le’Veon Bell was the most notable player missing from the Pittsburgh Steelers’ first day of training camp Thursday.