If you want the latest on Le’Veon Bell, just jump on his Twitter page — and stand on your head.
The Steelers running back, idle all season after refusing to sign his $14.5 million franchise-tag tender, posted two tweets — both in upside down text — on Wednesday in which he defended his holdout and refused to apologize to teammates or fans.
“Just about everybody has an opinion on my life & worried about what i’m doing,’’ Bell wrote with a 180-degree twist that was perhaps partially explained when he added, “don’t judge me off my decisions because maybe this isn’t what you’d do… but most people don’t take the time to just simply read between the lines… & that’s clearly on them…
“i’m not apologizing for what I believe is right for myself, family, and the rest of my peers, period, ’’ he went on. “ … also if you’re really finding the time to figure out what I’m saying, you’ve proved my point.”
The odd-angled pronouncements came one day after Bell — who has been training in Miami — was spotted in a Pittsburgh gym playing pickup basketball, per a tweet and a Snapchat post from two people who were also there. The gym’s general manager confirmed to KDKA-TV that Bell was at the facility.
Bell’s latest posts also followed a titillating Monday tweet in which he wrote, “Fairwell Miami” — leading to speculation Bell was headed to Pittsburgh to talk with the Steelers about ending his holdout.
If that’s the case, no talks appeared to take place Wednesday, with ESPN reporting, “There was no indication … that Bell had visited the team’s facility.’’
The drama comes ahead of a Tuesday deadline that could define Bell’s immediate, and perhaps long-term, future.
Per NFL rules, Bell must report to the Steelers by Tuesday or forfeit the whole season, as well as be subject to another franchise tag in 2019.
He played under a franchise tag in 2017, earning $12.12 million after turning down a five-year, $13.3-million-per offer. He could become a free agent in 2019 if the Steelers don’t franchise him again.
In September, Bell’s holdout sparked a mini-mutiny at Steelers camp, with one teammate, guard Ramon Foster, telling the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, “Here’s a guy who doesn’t give a damn, I guess so we’ll treat it as such.”
Still, the Steelers have done OK in Bell’s absence, leading the AFC North at 5-2-1 and riding a four- game win streak. In addition, James Conner has rushed for 706 yards — second in the league to the Rams’ Todd Gurley.