Bell threatens to sit or retire if franchise tagged again

Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell

"I hope it doesn't come to that, but I would definitely consider it", Bell told ESPN.

Bell, 25, played the 2017 season on a $12.1 million franchise tag. Bell will be on a track to free agency unless the Steelers strike a long-term deal with him or use the tag again to try to get another one-year contract. He also caught 85 passes for 655 yards and two TDs. "I'm not going out here getting the ball 400 times if I'm not getting what I feel I'm valued at". From his patient running style to his business approach, Bell is drawn to doing things differently, he said, and the birth of his daughter past year has become a factor for him to consider.

The team did have a long-term offer on the table until July 18, the deadline for franchise player designees to avoid playing this season under the tag by inking a different deal.

It would make sense for the Steelers to get the most out of Bell now and then let him walk if they believe his financial demands or another expensive one-year tender are just too unwieldy.

But that's a conversation for another time, at least according to Bell, who tweeted this shortly after news broke that he could take 2018 off.

If Bell is tagged again, his salary next season is projected to go up to roughly $14.5 million.

Should Roethlisberger return for 2018, the Steelers will likely remain a playoff team. Steelers fans are sweating the timing of the comments, and although Bell had no intention of being a distraction, Steelers players shrug at the weekly chaos.

Bell finished second in the league with 1,946 yards from scrimmage.

. "They tag me again, it will be me (saying), 'OK, do I want to play on the tag or do I not want to play on the tag?' That's what it comes down to".

"I don't think we got enough attempts", Bell said after the 21-point loss, adding, "I feel we're a good enough team to wear guys out whether they know we're running the ball or not". "I just want to be valued where I'm at".

He told Fowler that he is happy with his football career so far and is not concerned about making as much money as possible, but instead with setting a precedent for other running backs to be paid in relation to their value and usage. However, last night, Bell said on Twitter that he's focused on winning the Super Bowl and nothing else right now.

Related news: