Steelers Bell: What is the NFL Waiting For?


The 2015 league year began last month. The NFL has already levied punishments against teams like the Atlanta Falcons and Cleveland Browns for their bone-headed rules violations. What on Earth are they waiting on when it comes to handing down the possible suspension for Le’Veon Bell?

Bell was arrested in July of 2014 for DUI stemming from a traffic stop in which he admitted to smoking marijuana before driving, his first offense. The new substance-abuse policy imposes a mandatory two-game suspension for a first-time offense DUI.

There is a caveat to the rule that enhances the punishment for substances other than alcohol so Bell could be subject to a four-game suspension if he is made a test case for the new policy. The suspension could land anywhere from two to four games.

The Steelers have already signed a veteran running back to step in for Bell during any suspension he might receive when they signed DeAngelo Williams last month. The Steelers should have been able to know at the start of free agency what Bell’s availability would be at the start of the season.

Instead we’re still waiting. We’re still waiting for the NFL to hand out a suspension for a relatively black-and-white issue. Bell was arrested in July of 2014, he was entered into a 15-month probationary program that will require him to abstain from drugs and alcohol, complete any recommended treatment, pay court fees and costs and complete a safe-driving class in early February.

His driver’s license will also be suspended for 60 days, which, by my calculations is already up.

Now the NFL apparently needed additional video evidence to determine that former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice, knocked his then-fiancé unconscious in spite of already having the police reports which spelled out the incident in detail and now they’ve obtained photographic evidence in Greg Hardy’s domestic violence case where he was already convicted once of the offenses. The PPG’s Ed Bouchette posed the question last month as to what was taking so long, still no answer.

What possible evidence could the NFL be waiting on for Le’Veon Bell? The local news station already had photos of the traffic stop. Did they want to see if perhaps Le’Veon and LeGarrette Blount videotaped themselves getting high before the drive?

What the hell is the NFL waiting on? It’s true that Bell could very well be their first test case for their brand-spanking new substance abuse policy but it’s not like there are additional facts that are going to come out on this case to steer them in the direction of either two or more games.

It’s time for the NFL to get their crap together; they clearly have bigger issues to deal with than a pending suspension for a DUI involving marijuana use. The draft and OTAs are right around the corner. Let’s get on with it and get on with the season.

Next: Steelers Draft: Who is Huey Richardson?

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