Le'Veon Bell threatens retirement in 2018 if tagged again

Le'Veon Bell threatens retirement in 2018 if tagged again

Le'Veon Bell threatens retirement in 2018 if tagged again

In an interview with ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, Bell was honest with his intentions for this offseason, stating he'd be okay with sitting out a season or retiring if the Steelers placed an exclusive rights or franchise tag on him this offseason.

"I hope it doesn't come to that", he said, "but I would definitely consider it". Bell has wanted a massive contract, citing the desire to help all running backs in an era that has devalued the position.

If Bell continues to insist he won't play under the franchise tag, the Steelers will have a tough decision to make. Bell's tag this season was $12.1 million, so $14.5 million isn't outrageous.

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"[I want them to] value me", Bell told ESPN. "I'm not going to settle for anything", Bell said. The three-time Pro Bowler wrote that his main priority is winning a Super Bowl right now and that "what happens next year is irrelevant to my goals".

Well, after a career full of highlight reels and plenty of talent left in the tank, Bell is looking for money. "I just want to be valued where I'm at". That's a hard thing to get a handle on. The two sides could not come together on a deal, however, and Bell ended up holding out for the entire preseason before ultimately signing his tender shortly before the season. It's a tremendous salary for a running back, but it might not be sustainable for the Steelers to pay him close to that rate going forward.

Bell was on pace for one of the higher workloads in recent National Football League history before he sat out in Week 15 along with many other Steelers starters. Bell is arguably the best running back in football; the Steelers aren't letting him just waltz into free agency.

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This is all probably a discussion for the offseason, but Bell is talking about it now.

One of those picks could be used to select Bell's replacement, as the Steelers don't have a lot now on the roster at running back beyond James Conner, who ended his rookie season on IR with an MCL injury. Bell held out at the start of training camp this season because he was unhappy about having to play under the franchise tag.

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