Steelers pack up Le'Veon Bell's locker after player raid

Multiple Pittsburgh Steelers players say Le'Veon Bell's locker room items were packed up and placed in the back of team headquarters, with former teammates scoring a few pairs of cleats and not much more during Wednesday's raid.

Bell forfeited the season and $14.5 million when he failed to report to the team by Tuesday's franchise tag deadline to play in 2018.

Center and team captain Maurkice Pouncey said Bell's items will likely be shipped directly to the player, as is customary with such roster turnover.

Bell's locker went untouched for more than two months but is now completely empty a day after a handful of players sifted through his stuff for cleats, shirts and even mixtape CDs.

The ransack was not at all malicious but might have been therapeutic, said cornerback Mike Hilton, who added that everyone in the locker room likes Bell.

"Everybody was tired of talking about it and wondering when he was going to show up or not," Hilton said. "[You'd see the locker] and think, OK, maybe he's going to show up. Now it's all understood, and everybody can really get past it."

Hilton, who secured one pair of Jordan cleats, said lockers are typically full of free football apparel that Bell probably wouldn't have needed.

In a video published by ESPN on Wednesday, linebacker Bud Dupree held up two pairs of Bell's Jordan cleats and said into the camera, "Appreciate the cleats, my guy. I wish you success, my guy."

The team was upset with Bell when he didn't show Week 1 but moved on with James Conner, who is among the league leaders in rushing yards and touchdowns.

Guard David DeCastro appreciates Bell's greatness as a Steeler -- averaging 128.9 total yards per game over five seasons -- and hopes he scores a massive contract in free agency. Bell is sitting out the year to preserve his health.

"It's a team sport and a business. It's tough. You can see both sides," DeCastro said. "No one's really wrong or right. That's what's really tough. I wish Le'Veon all the best, and I hope he gets all the money he can."