Pittsburgh Steelers fans have to be hoping, praying, dancing – whatever their good luck practice of choice is – that this is not a prank.
Running back Le’Veon Bell, who has stayed away from the team all offseason, responded to a fan’s tweet on Tuesday night with a return date.
“So like when is le’veon bell gonna show up??,” user @Vadarmendariz asked, tagging Bell in the tweet and indicating that she was asking for fantasy football purposes.
His simple answer? “9-1-17” with a wink emoji.
— Le'Veon Bell (@L_Bell26) August 23, 2017
When the woman replied that it was the best news she’s heard all week and thanked him, Bell posted, “you’re welcome.”
Bell’s return is great news for fantasy players, but also for Pittsburgh: he totaled 1,884 yards from scrimmage and nine touchdowns last season despite playing in just 12 games (he was suspended for the first three games of the season then held out of the regular season finale).
A second-round pick in 2013, Bell is the Steelers’ franchise player for 2017. The deadline for teams and franchise players to sign a long-term contract has passed, so when Bell returns and signs his tender he is locked into a one-year, $12.1 million deal for this year.
There was a report recently that the Steelers thought they had a multi-year deal in place with Bell but he rejected it. Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that the contract averaged $12 million per season and gave Bell $30 million over the first two years. It would have been far and away the biggest contract for a running back in the league; the recent pact signed by the Atlanta Falcons Devonta Freeman averages $8.25 million per.