Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Le'Veon Bell threatens Steelers right before his playoffs start

Le'Veon Bell threatens Steelers right before his playoffs start

Bell's value in 2018 gets even more complicated because he has logged 406 touches already this season, before the Steelers' start the playoffs, and that many touches usually has an effect on running backs in future years. He also led all running backs with 85 catches. While Bell is still relatively young, his increased workload in recent years could mean an earlier decline. He said he simply wants to be valued by the franchise and given a contract worth his talent.

Bell, speaking to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler, said he would consider sitting out the 2018 season or even retiring (?!?) from football if the Steelers made a decision to use the tag on him for a second year in a row.

Bell turned in an All-Pro campaign while working under a $12.1 million franchise tag in 2017.

The franchise tender earned Bell $12.1 million this season, which was the highest base salary (not accounting for bonus money) at the position in the National Football League by almost $6 million.

"I hope it doesn't come to that", he said, "but I would definitely consider it".

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Bell, who racked up 1,291 rushing yards and 655 receiving yards in 2017, went on to say that, "I don't necessarily care about the money aspect of it". He added 11 total touchdowns.

Le'Veon Ball is attracting quite a bit of drama. Pittsburgh reportedly offered him a long-term deal in July that would have paid him roughly $30 million over the first two years of the deal.

"Just get the numbers straight, exactly where we want them. I'm not going to settle for anything", Bell told Fowler. "I know what I do and what I bring to the table. I'm not going out here getting the ball 400 times if I'm not getting what I feel I'm valued at".

Bell is certainly one of the best running backs, and best players, in the NFL. "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". If he gets tagged and doesn't get to test free agency, then things might get sticky. Right now, though, Bell is just trying to focus on the playoffs.

With a strong chance at Super Bowl number seven, Pittsburgh's only focus is the game ahead and their road to a ring. These comments went viral, and Bell took to Twitter in an attempt to defuse the situation.

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