Le'Veon Bell threatens Steelers right before his playoffs start

Le'Veon Bell threatens Steelers right before his playoffs start

The NFL has seen a spike in recent years of players being hit with the franchise tag multiple years in a row. That being said, it's unusual to hear this come out before the Steelers' first playoff game of the season.

Bell said Thursday he would mull sitting out a year or possibly retiring if the Steelers opt to franchise tag him for a second straight season. Even with Antonio Brown having an MVP-caliber season, one could argue that Bell is Pittsburgh's most important offensive player. Bell already turned down a deal that reportedly would have given him $30 million guaranteed over the first two seasons.

If the Steelers use the franchise tag once again, that number will jump to $14.5 million for next season.

National Football League teams can place the franchise tag on a player between February 20 and March 6. This puts the front office in a potentially hard position, as the franchise tag could be used as a base point for working toward a new contract.

This season, Le'Veon Bell was the only player to carry the ball more than 300 times. At 25 years old, Bell has rushed for 5,336 yards and 35 touchdowns in 62 career games. He also caught 85 passes for 655 yards and two TDs. The Steelers have the ability to tag Bell once again this offseason, but that is not something the running back would be on board with. "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".

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"Just get the numbers straight, exactly where we want them", Bell said Thursday. I know what I do and what I bring to the table. And if they win that, they will play in the Super Bowl.

"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", Bell told ESPN.

"[I want them to] value me", Bell told ESPN. "I'm not going out here getting the ball 400 times if I'm not getting what I feel I'm valued at". I'm a guy they can kind of look at.

"I don't necessarily care about the money aspect of it", explains Bell. If he gets tagged and doesn't get to test free agency, then things might get sticky.

Bell's comments, however, suggest the latter path could cause a standoff.

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