Le'Veon Bell would consider retiring if franchise tagged

Le'Veon Bell would consider retiring if franchise tagged

Le'Veon Bell would consider retiring if franchise tagged

"I hope it doesn't come to that", Bell told ESPN in Pittsburgh. But we still can envision the Steelers using the tag - not to sign him to an extension, which the team and he failed to reach this past offseason, but rather as a way of shackling Bell for a trade.

This summer Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell went through a lengthy contract holdout, not reporting to training camp and waiting until September 4 to sign the franchise tag worth $12.1 million.

The franchise-tag figure is expected to increase to about $14.5 million for next season.

Bell rushed for 1,291 yards in 2017 - his third season with at least 1,200 yards - and ran for nine touchdowns. He's projected to produce 18.6 FD points at a cost of $9,400 in this week's Divisional Round matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars.

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Bell still has plenty left in the tank professionally, but he's not onboard with playing under the franchise tag again for the second straight season. Bell said he would consider retiring, and if he did sit out a year, there likely wouldn't be a comeback in his future. Among running backs under contract for next year, Devonta Freeman's average salary of $8.25 million is No. 1.

"I don't necessarily care about the money aspect of it", Bell told ESPN of his contract. That's doubtful, but he's definitely not on board with playing under the franchise tag again, that's for sure. Bell added that he doesn't need football to stay happy and he has already made enough money for his family. "I just want to be valued where I'm at". 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". Teams can tag a player between February 20 and March 6, after which they would have until July 16 to work out a long-term deal. These comments went viral, and Bell took to Twitter in an attempt to defuse the situation.

Bell makes clear market precedent for running backs is more important to him than making a few extra million, which Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott will love to hear. I feel I can do that. If he gets tagged and doesn't get to test free agency, then things might get sticky.

"I'm trying to win a super bowl", he wrote.

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