If Le'Veon Bell doesn't report to the Pittsburgh Steelers by Tuesday's deadline -- and the belief among multiple sources is that he will not -- he will forgo roughly $200,000 in additional benefits that come with a credited NFL season, sources told ESPN.
Each credited NFL season for players adds to their benefits in the form of a pension, an annuity, 401K contributions and a health reimbursement account -- which one official estimated to be roughly $200,000 per year, plus however that money would compound over time.
In 2018, if an NFL player earns a credited season, he will receive $760 per month -- or $9,120 per year -- in pension beginning at age 55. The league contributes a maximum of $26,000 into each player's 401K plans, assuming the player contributes to the max. There is also severance and a health reimbursement fund.
While there's no exact figure, estimates for a loss of a player sitting out a full season, as Bell is considering, escalate to close to or at $200,000 per year.
"I don't think it even enters his mind," one source familiar with the NFL's benefits package told ESPN. "When you lose a credited [season] and retire, you wish you had it then. But you're not thinking about that now."
What Bell is thinking about now is getting to this winter and to free agency as healthy as possible, which means skipping this season to date. He must report by Tuesday's deadline, or he will be ineligible to play this season. Each week that Bell misses costs him $855,000 in base salary.
Bell's camp continues to maintain its cone of silence and repeatedly has declined to address with reporters the star running back's plans for the coming week.
Ten months ago, Bell said he "definitely would consider" sitting out the 2018 season or retiring if the Steelers used the franchise tag on him for a second consecutive season. The Steelers did use the $14.1 million tag, and there are no indications that Bell will report by the deadline.