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12 January 2018, 04:44 | Anna Jefferson
Steelers' Le'Veon Bell says he'd consider sitting out season, retiring if he's franchise tagged for second straight season
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell said that, if handed the franchise tag for the second straight year, he would consider sitting out the 2018 season or retiring. At this point, it's hard to imagine the Steelers being able to work out a, long term contract extension with Bell at any point during the offseason.
Bell tried to walk back his threats in a Twitter post later Thursday, assuring he's focused on the Steelers' pursuit of a Super Bowl ring this year and not his future.
Bell is once again set to hit free agency this summer. More interesting quotes can be found at the link below.
Bell and the Steelers will host the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday at 1:05pm ET with a trip to the AFC Championship on the line. Any chance to beat New England in New England will involve a heavy dose of Bell.
"I've made a lot of money, I'm happy where I'm at, I've got a good family - I don't really need to play football", said Bell, who has made around $16 million for his career.
CBS Sports Jason La Canfora says Bell would make $14.54 million if the Steelers franchise him again. 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. But he doesn't have any intention of staying if he doesn't get the kind of long-term deal he feels he deserves. He was slated to hit the open market previous year before the Steelers placed the franchise tag on him, fearful he would sign elsewhere.
"I hope it doesn't come to that, but I would definitely consider it", he said before Thursday's practice. "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". He doesn't want that opportunity to pass him by. Given that he left $18 million in guaranteed money on the table in 2017 it's reasonable to think that his thinking hasn't wavered. "I'm not going to settle for anything", Bell told Fowler. "I'm not going out here getting the ball 400 times if I'm not getting what I feel I'm valued at".
Bell protested the franchise tag by holding out of training camp, and it wasn't until Week 4 that he put up a typical dominating performance.
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