As the high-profile holdout of Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell continues, more reports are surfacing about past Pittsburgh offers that the two-time All-Pro has apparently turned down.
The three-time 1,000-yard rusher nixed an offer from the Steelers with the team pledging $47 million to Bell over three years, Pro Football Talk reported Friday.
An NFL source told PFT that the package had the potential to guarantee Bell $20 million — a $10 million signing bonus plus another $10 million bonus soon after the agreement.
Over the summer, the Steelers reportedly offered Bell a five-year, $70 million contract, but Bell supposedly balked because only $17 million was guaranteed. Big-name running backs Todd Gurley (Los Angeles Rams) and David Johnson (Arizona Cardinals), who signed new contracts, received at least double that amount guaranteed.
—Cincinnati Bengals running back Joe Mixon was removed from the team’s injury report on Friday and is set to return from a two-game absence when the team hosts the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.
Mixon underwent surgery to remove loose particles from his right knee two days after injuring it during a Week 2 win over the Baltimore Ravens. He returned to practice on a limited basis on Wednesday and was again limited on Thursday before being a full participant on Friday.
Mixon’s return comes as fellow back Giovani Bernard suffered a knee injury in the final minutes of last Sunday’s win against the Atlanta Falcons. Bernard is expected to miss two to four weeks with a sprained medial collateral ligament.
Also, linebacker Vontaze Burfict could see the field for the first time this season after completing a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Cincinnati opened a roster spot for Burfict by placing tight end Tyler Eifert (ankle) on injured reserve.
—Newly signed safety Eric Reid will start his first game with the Carolina Panthers on Sunday when the team hosts the New York Giants, head coach Ron Rivera announced.
Reid, who signed with the team last Thursday after five seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, has received first-team reps this week at practice and is poised to play his first game since 2017.
Reid was the first player to kneel alongside then-teammate Colin Kaepernick during the national anthem last season in protest of social injustice. Reid remained unsigned as a free agent until the Panthers added him last week to replace injured safety Da’Norris Searcy.
—Green Bay Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb is out for a second consecutive game with a hamstring injury.
Green Bay is preparing to be precariously thin at the position against the Detroit Lions as Cobb, Davante Adams and Geronimo Allison, the team’s top three wide receivers, are all limited by injuries.
Adams (calf) was hurt in Wednesday’s practice after playing all 76 snaps in Week 4 against the Buffalo Bills. Cobb missed that game and said he wasn’t even close to being able to take the field. Allison (concussion) has a chance to play Sunday, coach Mike McCarthy said.
—Dez Bryant made it clear earlier this week that, hard feelings or not, he would still prefer to be a member of the Dallas Cowboys.
Team owner Jerry Jones reiterated that his former star wide receiver should forget about any on-field reunion. The remark comes on the heels of Bryant’s tweet response to a fan Tuesday in which the free agent said he would most like to play for the Cowboys.
“We feel good about Dez and wish him the very best,” Jones told GBAG Nation on 105.3 The Fan. “Trust me, if it were in our best interests, his and ours ... he’d be on the field for the Cowboys.”
—New York Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers will likely miss Sunday’s home game against the Denver Broncos due to a health problem termed “serious” by head coach Todd Bowles.
The nature of Rodgers’ health issue wasn’t revealed by Bowles. The coach mentioned it as he was closing his Friday media availability session with reporters.
Meanwhile, the Jets will be without top cornerback Trumaine Johnson against Denver due to a sprained quadriceps. He suffered the injury during Thursday’s practice and could miss multiple games.
—The family of former NFL linebacker and Hall of Famer Junior Seau has come to a confidential settlement in the family’s wrongful death lawsuit against the NFL over the former San Diego Chargers legend’s suicide in 2012.
Seau’s family filed notice in federal court Friday at U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania to dismiss its case against the league. The original suit accused the NFL of contributing to Seau’s death by acting with negligence in overlooking Seau’s symptoms of brain injuries and concussions for years.
Seau took his own life at age 43 in 2012 when he shot himself at his Oceanside, Calif., residence. He was posthumously found to have chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) — a degenerative brain disease proven to be linked to repeated head trauma and concussions.
—Miami Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake was listed as doubtful with a knee injury for Sunday’s game against the host Bengals.
Wake sat out practice Friday for the third straight day. He has been dealing with the injury for a couple weeks but hasn’t missed a game since 2015.
Miami ruled out cornerback Bobby McCain (knee) and tight end A.J. Derby (foot). Among the players listed as questionable are receiver DeVante Parker (quadriceps) and safeties Reshad Jones (shoulder) and T.J. McDonald (foot). Defensive end Andre Branch (knee), who missed last Sunday’s loss to the New England Patriots, is listed as questionable.
—The Philadelphia Eagles continue to have a banged-up backfield, as running back Darren Sproles was ruled out for Sunday’s home game against the Minnesota Vikings.
The 13-year veteran Sproles will miss his fourth consecutive game because of a hamstring injury, testing a thin running back group for the defending Super Bowl champions. Corey Clement (quadriceps) is questionable for the team’s NFC Championship rematch with Minnesota after not practicing all week and Jay Ajayi admitted recently he is playing despite a small fracture in his back.
The Eagles also revealed that second-year defensive end Derek Barnett is also out after hurting his shoulder in last Sunday’s overtime loss at Tennessee. Veteran defensive tackle Haloti Ngata is listed as questionable with a calf injury after practicing on a limited basis on Friday.
—Los Angeles Chargers receiver Travis Benjamin was ruled out for Sunday’s game with the Oakland Raiders due to a foot injury, and coach Anthony Lynn indicated he will miss at least two more weeks.
Benjamin didn’t practice this week and was sporting a cast on his ailing right foot.
Benjamin missed two games earlier this season due to the injury and returned for last Sunday’s game against the San Francisco 49ers. But he played just five snaps after reinjuring the foot.