The Denver Post - - SPORTS -

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.

Don Wright, The As­so­ci­ated Press

Run­ning back Le’Veon Bell was the most no­table player miss­ing from the Pitts­burgh Steel­ers’ first day of train­ing camp Thurs­day.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.