Pete Carroll said the Seahawks had thoroughly reviewed Tramaine Brock’s so-called domestic violence

RENTON, Wash. — Pete Carroll said Thursday that he was comfortable with the process the Seattle Seahawks went through to investigate cornerback Tramaine Brock’s alleged domestic violence incident in April.

The Seahawks signed Brock to a one-year deal on Thursday.

“What I would say to you is, I don’t know how anybody could have done a more extensive look into this,” Carroll said. “John [Schneider, the team's general manager] started this quite some time ago and followed it throughout to make sure we knew exactly what was going on. I’m not going to go into particulars for you, but we feel assured that we have done all of the homework that can be done and done a little bit past that and then maybe past that.

Seattle coach Pete Carroll said the team is in a good place with Tramaine Brock, who was signed after charges from an alleged domestic violence incident were dropped.

Seattle coach Pete Carroll said the team is in a good place with Tramaine Brock, who was signed after charges from an alleged domestic violence incident were dropped.

“We’ve really done our work here and feel that we’re in a good place with him.”
Brock, 28, was arrested on April 6 on suspicion of felony domestic violence and child endangerment after officers responded to a call that evening. Officers reported that an adult woman had visible injuries and was “in a dating relationship with the male suspect.” Brock pleaded not guilty to those charges. Charges were dismissed on Aug. 9. The Santa Clara District Attorney’s office said there was insufficient evidence to proceed with the case because the alleged victim declined to cooperate.

Carroll was asked if the organization spoke with the alleged victim as part of the process.

“I’m not going to go into that, OK,” Carroll said. “There’s a million questions you could ask me about that. We’ve done everything that you could do. All I can tell you is it’s been a comprehensive look into it, and I feel great telling you that. There’s too many aspects of it to go ahead and talk to you about it specifically.”

The 49ers released Brock on April 7, less than 24 hours after his arrest.

The NFL will investigate the matter under its personal conduct policy. The NFL can penalize a player even if he doesn’t face legal charges.

Andrew Luck progressed, but the first week of the state was still in the air

INDIANAPOLIS — Indianapolis Colts owner Jim Irsay cannot “unequivocally” say that starting quarterback Andrew Luck will play in their Week 1 opener against the Los Angeles Rams on Sept. 10.

Irsay, like general manager Chris Ballard, believes Luck will be off the physically unable to perform list before the start of the regular season. But playing against the Rams is still up in the air, especially because Luck needs practice time once he is taken off of PUP.

“I don’t want to act that it is a foregone conclusion that he’s not going to be starting out there [against the Rams],” Irsay said after his team’s 24-10 preseason loss to the Detroit Lions on Sunday. “I mean, he could but also could not. We don’t see an extended delay, but we’re not going to put a timetable on it. We will not put any pressure on this decision.”

Luck originally injured his right shoulder in Week 3 of the 2015 season. He played through the shoulder pain until he finally had the surgery in January. Irsay said they waited as long as they could before deciding on surgery and wouldn’t do things any differently.
“There’s no mystery to it, and that’s the good news about it,” Irsay said. “There hasn’t been one surprise to [the shoulder] from our standpoint. We always knew it was going to be a borderline thing. We wanted to be sure before we did the surgery. Once we were committed to doing it, things couldn’t have gone more successfully.”

Luck, who has missed 10 games the past two seasons, has admitted that his patience has been tested throughout this process of not being able to practice or take part in offseason workouts. Irsay had to remind his franchise quarterback that he has to think about his long-term health and not let his “competitive juices” get the best of him.

Ballard said during the preseason television broadcast on Sunday that Luck’s “strength levels are probably better right now than they were in the last season that he played.” Luck has started the throwing process, but the Colts have restricted how much he’s doing it to avoid a setback.
“It’s a progression where he’s not throwing the football as strong as he wants to because we won’t let him,” Ballard said. “He can throw it a lot stronger than he’s throwing it. This is our future that’s 10, 12, 14 years — who knows? We will not deviate from being disciplined in our process on how the doctors feel and how Andrew feels. He said it best to me. He said, ‘Jim, I know I’m going to be an even better quarterback than I’ve ever been before. I just don’t know when.’ That could be Sept. 10. It could be Sept. 20. We’ll see.”

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck has been battling shoulder issues since 2015.

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck has been battling shoulder issues since 2015.

Scott Tolzien, who has been the starting quarterback since Luck went down, hasn’t shown the consistency yet that is necessary to believe he can lead the Colts on a regular basis until Luck returns. The Colts discussed the possibility of bringing in another quarterback but decided to stand pat with Tolzien for the time being.

“We came semi-close to bringing in a mid- to late-30s guy,” Irsay said. “We had a number. The guy wanted more than the number. It wasn’t [Colin] Kaepernick. It didn’t work out, so we moved on. We like some things, like some guys that are on the roster.”

Source: Colts C Ryan Kelly is on foot due to foot injuries

INDIANAPOLIS — Colts center Ryan Kelly suffered a foot injury in practice Thursday that will sideline him, a source said.

Kelly injured his foot during the Colts’ joint practice against the Detroit Lions. Colts coach Chuck Pagano said after practice that he didn’t see the play on which Kelly was injured.

The injury isn’t believed to be severe enough that Kelly will miss the regular-season opener against the Los Angeles Rams, but it will cause him to be out for the time being, a source said.

Kelly, the Colts’ first-round pick in 2016, started every game during his rookie season.

Deyshawn Bond, an undrafted free agent from Cincinnati, replaced Kelly at center Thursday.

The Colts now are without their starting center and quarterback, as Andrew Luck remains on the physically unable to perform list while recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.

Brock Osweiler starts the QB in the Browns preseason

Brock Osweiler will have the first chance to be the Cleveland Browns’ preseason starting quarterback.

Coach Hue Jackson said Monday that Osweiler will start Thursday’s game against the New Orleans Saints. Rookie DeShone Kizer will be third in line, after Cody Kessler.
“A lot goes into our evaluation, but it’s always going to be about efficiently and effectively running the offense,” Jackson said in a statement released by the team. “You want your starter to be able to do that despite any circumstance. Brock hasn’t really gotten any first-team reps, and this will give him that chance. We look forward to seeing what he can do with this opportunity throughout the week and against the Saints.”

Brock Osweiler's work regimen has impressed Browns coach Hue Jackson during the offseason, and the quarterback will get the start for Thursday's preseason game.

Brock Osweiler’s work regimen has impressed Browns coach Hue Jackson during the offseason, and the quarterback will get the start for Thursday’s preseason game.

Although Osweiler will get the first chance as the starter, Jackson emphasized that any of the team’s quarterbacks could earn the starting spot for the season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers.

On Thursday, Jackson explained the rationale in possibly starting Osweiler.

“One, we have a veteran player that’s played in games, knows how to win, and I need to give him an opportunity to demonstrate that,” Jackson said Thursday. “And No. 2, we still have some young quarterbacks that need to play a lot of football. You know if I stuck one of those other guys out as the starter, they weren’t going to play a lot of football. Because they’re probably going to come out with the other vets. When you sit down and think through it all, you think what’s best for our football team; it’s best for me to trot Brock out there, see if he can go lead this offense and lead the team, and in the process keep getting these young guys more reps of playing football. They just need to play.”

Osweiler said Monday that he isn’t taking any gratification from getting to start a preseason game, and that he needs to take advantage of the opportunity.

“Bottom line, there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done,” he said. “I think this football team knows that. Obviously, Coach Jackson is preaching it every single day. He is telling us that. This is just one step. There is a lot of chemistry to be built. There are a lot of fine details that need to be cleaned up through meetings and more practice sessions.”
Kizer, meanwhile, called himself a competitor and said he will continue to work on his development in his first NFL training camp.

“It’s my ultimate goal to be out there playing,” Kizer said. “We put in a lot of work into what we do. I would love to be the guy who’s stepping out there as the starting guy. But until then, this is still part of the process.”

Kessler said being the second quarterback up Thursday won’t affect his mindset.

“Whether you are going first group, second group or whatever it may be, you have to prepare like a starter,” Kessler said. “That is something I have been doing since high school. Nothing changes no matter what the rotation is or where you go, but it is still another opportunity.”

Jackson said Saturday that although the decision for the preseason opener was about who could score points and help win games, it also would involve “a feeling of who I think can be the guy.”

According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Browns’ starter at quarterback for the first preseason game has started Week 1 of the regular season each year since 2004.

It’s quite a progression for Osweiler, whom the Browns accepted in a trade from the Houston Texans in March solely so they could acquire a second-round pick. He received reps with the starters on Monday for the first time this offseason. In Friday’s scrimmage and Saturday’s practice, Osweiler moved the ball better than the other quarterbacks.

In the Sonny Gray’s debut, the Yankees a bit biased

CLEVELAND — All night, Sonny Gray kept adjusting his new New York Yankees cap. Nearly after every batter, he would end up on the side of the mound, trying to center his hat, which kept shifting to the side. Everything didn’t fit exactly right in Gray’s opening night as a Yankee, including his cap, which was a bit too big.

Gray pitched well, just not as well as Cleveland Indians ace Corey Kluber. Not many people do.

Gray threw well enough to win, even if a line that starts with six innings and four runs usually doesn’t indicate such. Only two of the runs were earned, and Gray gave up just four hits while striking out six and walking four.

Of the four runs Sonny Gray gave up in his first start as a Yankee, two were unearned.

Of the four runs Sonny Gray gave up in his first start as a Yankee, two were unearned.

There wasn’t really a lot learned from Thursday night’s 5-1 loss to the defending American League champions, except that the ace known as “Klubot” may still be October’s most intimidating presence. If you watched last fall, you probably already knew that, too.

But if the Yankees are going to keep playing as long as the Indians did last year, these are the types of games they will need to win. Kluber is the type of ace they will need to beat. As for Gray? He will basically have to pitch like he did in his Yankees debut. Just with more help.

His cap kept shifting to the side, unintentionally sort of like the man he replaced — the injured Michael Pineda — but Gray’s pitches were pretty much just right. He allowed two unearned runs because the Yankees exhibited the worst defense in these parts since the Cleveland Browns’ season ended.

They made three errors in the first with first baseman Chase Headley and second baseman Tyler Wade unable to handle grounders, while right fielder Clint Frazier airmailed a throw into third. Gray was forced to pick up five outs instead of the usual three. It resulted in two earned runs.

Gray, 27, is very good, but he is not at Klubot’s level. Kluber is almost not human, as he showed most of October last year. The Yankees don’t need that from Gray, but he just has to keep on doing what he has been doing.

After Thursday’s game, Gray is 4-3 in his past seven starts, but his ERA is just 1.59. With the Yankees’ bullpen, that should win a lot of games. That is, if the Yankees can score.

The offense is becoming a concern. Yankees manager Joe Girardi put Aaron Judge, Matt Holliday and Todd Frazier on the bench on Thursday because all three are struggling. It was a kind gesture, as few hitters become healthier at the plate against Kluber, who has struck out eight or more batters in 12 consecutive starts, an Indians record.

The thought of facing Kluber in October is not a good one for the Yankees. When Progressive Field is rocking and Kluber is on the mound, the Indians are a pretty unbeatable team.

Gray is part of the reason the Yankees should make it to the postseason, but they need to be a little better than they were on Thursday. It was the Yankees’ fourth loss in five games and they are now two games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.

Even with Gray on board, everything isn’t just fitting right, yet.

Suspension of damage Cowboys’ pass, but open the opportunity

OXNARD, Calif. — Football coaches like to say that injuries present opportunities for other players. While that is true for the Dallas Cowboys, suspensions also present opportunities.

Randy Gregory is out for the season because of multiple violations of the NFL’s substance-abuse policy. David Irving will miss the first four games of the season after violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Damontre Moore will miss the first two games because of a substance-abuse policy investigation.

Tyrone Crawford and Taco Charlton each could see their responsibilities increase given the suspensions across the Cowboys' defense.

Tyrone Crawford and Taco Charlton each could see their responsibilities increase given the suspensions across the Cowboys’ defense.

Gregory’s suspension might have led to the Cowboys adding Moore in the offseason as a free agent, but all three would have been valuable parts to a defensive line rotation in 2017.

Gregory played in just 13 games in his first two seasons, mostly because of suspensions. He has recorded just one sack, but the Cowboys had hoped things would eventually work out to where the former second-round pick would get a chance to play again. Nobody knows for sure if that will happen. The team can have only minimal contact with him during the suspension. (He is eligible to return after the season.)

The Cowboys knew Moore’s suspension was a possibility because of an arrest last December when he played for the Seattle Seahawks, but Irving’s suspension was a surprise.

“I winded up taking some products that had a banned substance,” Irving said. “The substance wasn’t listed on the bottle. It happens, and it happened to me. You live, learn and move on.”

Moore apologized for his mistake

“I made my bed, and I’ve got to lie it in,” he said. “I just wanted to apologize to the Cowboys organization and the fans for my past even following me. I also want to show them by coming here and working hard each and every day that I’m here to make the best of this opportunity.”

Gregory is not allowed at training camp, but Irving and Moore can practice and play in preseason games. Starting the first week of the season they will be banished. And that has created opportunity.

So far in camp, Tyrone Crawford and DeMarcus Lawrence have lined up as the starting left and right defensive ends. Benson Mayowa, who led the Cowboys in sacks last year with six, has been working at right defensive end in the nickel defense. The Cowboys drafted Taco Charlton in the first round to help the pass rush immediately. With the suspensions, they will count on him even more.

Charles Tapper did not play as a rookie in 2016 because of a back injury. The Cowboys hope his speed can help them get to the quarterback. Lenny Jones, Lewis Neal and Richard Ash may not have had the cleanest routes to making it at the start of camp, but the losses of Moore and Irving open a spot on the roster, if not two.

“I like our depth that we’ve got in the defensive front as far as some of the guys that won’t be with us early there,” team owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. “That’s promising.”

But the Cowboys don’t have that “war daddy” he craves so badly.

“Let me say this, there’s parts of one out there, I know that,” Jones said. “Now it may take three of them to get him, but he’s out there. I’m talking about the rotation of the numbers. I like our numbers. I see how we can play. Some of the greatest successes that I’ve had with the Cowboys was when we’ve had a defensive line rotation. I’ve always looked for the promise of that.”

This year the NFL team dominates

Holdouts are always a big story during training camp. Star players, dissatisfied with their contracts, will sit out to try to force their team’s hand, and fans are pretty split on the approach. Some people think it’s selfish for a player to hold out. But staying home is often the best way for a player to light a fire under a team to get a new deal done.

We watched this unfold last year with Eric Berry and Joey Bosa. Berry waited almost the entire preseason to sign his franchise tender and report to the Chiefs. Bosa and the Chargers couldn’t agree on two key issues — offset language and Bosa’s signing bonus — and the rookie held out for four weeks before the two sides compromised.

So far this year, Texans left tackle Duane Brown did not make the trip to training camp with his teammates. Le’Veon Bell is officially holding out, and Aaron Donald could be next.

Bell, Brown, and Donald all have two things in common this year: They’re fundamentally important to their teams and deserve to be paid for it, but those teams hold most of the leverage in this situation.

Le’Veon Bell can skip all of training camp and still make $12.1 million
The Steelers report to training camp on Thursday, and Le’Veon Bell isn’t there. He plans to stay away for several weeks, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

The Steelers hit Bell with the franchise tag this offseason and were unable to come to a long-term agreement with the star running back. Bell stands to make over $12 million this year under the tag, but he has yet to sign his tender. So he’s currently not under contract and is under no obligation to attend training camp.

Bell wants to be paid as a No. 1 running back and a No. 2 receiver, which isn’t likely to happen. Last year, Bell had 1,268 yards on the ground, and he was still Pittsburgh’s second-leading receiver with 616 yards. But his production doesn’t matter. Teams don’t value feature backs at $15 million per year. Still, Bell deserved a long-term deal from Pittsburgh, and now there’s no chance of that until 2018.

Holding out won’t change the fact that Bell’s options are limited. He can either sign the tag and play this season, or he can sit out and lose a paycheck for every week of the regular season he misses. The time has passed for the Steelers to offer him a long-term deal, so that $12 million is the best Bell is going to do this year.

And right now, Bell can sit at home until the regular season is set to start and still make that full amount. He doesn’t have to show up to training camp — even if Antonio Brown wants him to.
But he may not get his wish.

Duane Brown wants a new deal, but the Texans don’t
Brown is under contract for two more seasons, and the team doesn’t have a sense of urgency about getting an extension done. General manager Rick Smith went so far as to say the team has no contract dispute with Brown. But considering that Brown skipped OTAs and mandatory minicamp and is now staying home from training camp, it’s pretty obvious this is a holdout.

Brown’s current deal averages $8.9 million per year, which ranks him just No. 17 in the league for left tackles. Brown is one of the most reliable players on the Texans’ offense. He’s by far the best player on the line that will have to protect either Tom Savage or rookie Deshaun Watson. But since he’s under contract, the Texans don’t have to back down. They probably won’t, either.

Last year, top receiver DeAndre Hopkins held out for one full day during training camp. He still doesn’t have an extension from the Texans and is set to hit free agency after the season.

So what if Brown’s holdout continues to the regular season? Let’s go to Matt Weston of Battle Red Blog for a breakdown of what it might look like for the Texans:

Without Duane Brown, the Texans’ options are either to move Chris Clark to left tackle and start Breno Giacomini or David Quessenberry at right tackle, or see if Julie’n Davenport can bound from the Patriot League to the National Football League in one summer. All of these options are horrifying.
Ouch. It’s more likely that Brown will make his way back to the team before the season begins. But if he doesn’t, that could be ugly for Houston.

Aaron Donald deserves an extension, but can the Rams afford it?
Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald skipped voluntary OTAs, but did show up for minicamp. He’s also still on his rookie contract through 2018 after the team picked up his fifth-year option. That means the Rams’ best player is making just $1.8 million this season.

The Rams gave a hefty extension last year to the underperforming Tavon Austin. He ended up with just over 500 receiving yards and three touchdowns last season, yet he’ll make almost $15 million in 2017. Donald led the Rams in sacks last year with eight, and he added 47 tackles and five pass breakups.

The Rams used the franchise tag on cornerback Trumaine Johnson and didn’t work out a long-term deal with the cornerback. Johnson’s $16.7 million price tag this season makes it about impossible for Los Angeles to work out an extension for Donald. The Rams are only working with just over $3 million in cap space this year.

Donald was noncommittal when he was pressed on Sirius XM Radio about whether he’ll show up for camp. We’ll find out when the Rams report on July 28.

Chiefs coach Andy Reed wants LB Tamba Hali to talk to him

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. — Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid usually doesn’t mind when his players let their personalities show, so he had no problem with veteran linebacker Tamba Hali saying that he should have played more than seven snaps in last season’s playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Reid wasn’t pleased, however, that Hali took to Twitter to communicate those thoughts publicly.

“We don’t want him doing it through the social media part of it,” Reid said from Missouri Western State University, where the Chiefs begin a three-day camp for rookies and quarterbacks on Tuesday. “If you have a problem, let’s talk about it.

“One thing you love about Tamba is he loves to play. I can’t tell you he’s getting any younger. I can’t tell you that. But I do love the fact he bugs on you that he wants to play. As coaches, we have to make the decision and so we make the decision whether he plays seven plays or 27 plays or 47 plays. That’s what we do.

“Is a player always going to be happy about that? No. That’s not how it works. But do I love the fact he loves to play? Yeah. He’s going to be 50 years old and probably still tweeting out those things that he wants to get in his plays.”

Hali, the Chiefs’ first-round draft pick in 2006, has been one of their top defensive players ever since. But his role was reduced dramatically last season, when he started only two games. Hali still had 3.5 sacks, but that was his lowest total since 2008.
It seems unlikely Hali will return to a full-time role this season. He’ll turn 33 in November and has been limited in practice the past two seasons because of aching knees. He had arthroscopic surgery last year to help the problem.

Tamba Hali has been one of the Chiefs' top defensive players for years, but his role is being reduced.

Tamba Hali has been one of the Chiefs’ top defensive players for years, but his role is being reduced.

In the meantime, Justin Houston and Dee Ford have solidified themselves as the regular outside linebackers.

“We’ll see how his wheels hold up,” Reid said when asked how much Hali might play this season. “That’s been the issue.”

Chairman Clark Hunt didn’t seem amused by Hali’s tweets earlier Monday at a news conference to introduce Brett Veach as the Chiefs’ new general manager.

“I believe there are appropriate ways to express yourself,” Hunt said. “I really think that’s an issue that’s best addressed with Tamba directly with the head coach.”

Cowboys re-signed LB Justin Durant, release CB Jeremiah McKinnon

FRISCO, Texas — With the potential of seeing Damien Wilson disciplined for a July 4 arrest, Jaylon Smith working back from a serious knee injury and Mark Nzeocha rehabbing from knee surgery, the Dallas Cowboys have agreed to a deal with veteran linebacker Justin Durant.

Durant played in 13 games last season for the Cowboys after he was signed just before the start of training camp. The coaches credited him with 54 tackles to go along with 1 sack, 1 tackle for loss, 6 quarterback pressures and 4 pass deflections, playing mostly in the defense’s sub packages. He missed one game with a hamstring injury and the final two games of the regular season with an elbow strain.

Justin Durant, who had 54 tackles and a sack last season, has re-signed with the Dallas Cowboys.

Justin Durant, who had 54 tackles and a sack last season, has re-signed with the Dallas Cowboys.

To make room for Durant on the roster, cornerback Jeremiah McKinnon, who spent part of last year on the practice squad, was released.

Wilson, who played in every game last year, starting six, was arrested on two counts of assault with a deadly weapon on July 4. The Cowboys have not commented on Wilson’s status because they are continuing their own look into the incident.

The Cowboys are optimistic about Smith’s recovery from a serious knee injury that included nerve damage and kept him out last season, but they will bring him along slowly in camp, considering he has not played in a game since January 2016.

The Cowboys are likely to bring Durant along slowly as well since he did not have the benefit of an offseason program. A year ago, they had him work on his conditioning to the side before he was allowed to fully practice.

Levi Bell failed Steelers to negotiate: “I want to pay attention to”

PITTSBURGH — Le’Veon Bell felt he would be settling if he took the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offer during franchise tag negotiations, the All-Pro running back told ESPN on Monday.

Bell was hopeful that a deal would be finalized by the 4 p.m. ET deadline but said the two sides weren’t particularly close. Bell confirmed that he will play on the $12.12 million franchise tag but isn’t sure when he’ll sign his tender or report to camp, which begins July 27.

Le'Veon Bell and the Steelers negotiated until the 4 p.m. ET deadline but were unable to agree on a long-term contract. He'll now play the 2017 season under his franchise tender, worth $12.1 million.

Le’Veon Bell and the Steelers negotiated until the 4 p.m. ET deadline but were unable to agree on a long-term contract. He’ll now play the 2017 season under his franchise tender, worth $12.1 million.

“It’s a little frustrating, but it’s a business,” said Bell, who declined to comment on the particulars of the Steelers’ offer or his own projection of his worth. “I’m not in a rush to sign for something I’m not valued at if I feel I’m worth more than what they are offering me.”
Bell said the negotiations with the Steelers weren’t personal and that the team didn’t try to knock him for his health history — including multiple knee injuries and groin and hamstring ailments — during the process. He remains optimistic that the sides can reach an extension after the season.

The way Bell sees it, he’s a standard-bearer for a stagnate running back market. The Buffalo Bills’ LeSean McCoy is currently the league’s highest-paid running back at about $8 million per season. That means Bell, like his running style, must be patient.

“The running back market definitely took a hit, and I can’t be the guy who continues to let it take a hit,” Bell said. “We do everything: We block, we run, we catch the ball. Our value isn’t where it needs to be. I’m taking it upon myself to open up some eyes and show the position is more valuable.”

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin will be the second-highest-paid running back by base salary, according to ESPN’s Roster Management System. But in terms of “cash value,” Bell’s total is second among running backs behind that of Jacksonville Jaguars rookie Leonard Fournette, who will make $18.3 million in cash thanks to his $17.89 million signing bonus.
However, Bell also said his value shouldn’t be constrained by position. He points to his status as the Steelers’ second-most-productive receiver behind Antonio Brown after he caught a combined 158 passes in his past two seasons of 12 games or more.

Bell has amassed 4,791 total yards the past three seasons, second among running backs, despite his missing 13 games due to injury or suspension. He can line up in the slot, out wide or in the backfield. Steelers players voted Bell the team MVP last season. He has missed five games due to suspension for violation of the league’s substance abuse policy, but Bell said he has moved past those issues.

“I definitely don’t want to play for anybody else,” Bell said of the Steelers. “You never know what will happen. Today was a big eye opener. I’m going to definitely enjoy my best year with the Steelers and be happy with it.”

That begs the question: When will that season officially start? Because he hasn’t yet signed the tag, Bell technically doesn’t have to join the team until Dec. 1, though he wouldn’t get paid the franchise amount. He could sit out part of training camp. Bell said he hasn’t thought that far ahead but added, “I don’t need much” in the way of practices to be in game shape.

“I guess when it comes to camp and doing extra things when I’m training, I can’t be as aggressive as I normally would be because there’s no longevity,” Bell said. “But I’m still going to be out there and be Le’Veon Bell. … The way I train, all it’s going to take for me is a few practices and some game action. I haven’t thought about it that far. I’m game planning today. I was thinking the deal would be done. I’m going to take it day to day and see what happens.”

Bell said he feels healthy coming off groin surgery in March and believes he can post “crazy numbers” with a full 16 games in 2017. Then the same core issue might arise in negotiations.

“I want to be valued,” Bell said.