Le'Veon Bell threatens retirement if Steelers give him another franchise tag


They certainly can do other things to alleviate that issue, such as restructuring Ben Roethlisberger's contract (he's now at $23.2 million vs. the cap in what will be his age-36 season) or releasing a few veterans.

"We understand we have a great group here", said Bell, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.

National Football League teams generally consider the time value of draft picks when making trades, so a 2019 third-round pick (at the end of the round, no less) would be worth about a late second-rounder or early third-rounder this year. "I'm not going out here getting the ball 400 times if I'm not getting what I feel I'm valued at". This could be Bell's only chance to hit the open market in his prime and land a lucrative contract. Another reason the Steelers might balk at giving him the long-term deal he wants is that Bell has previously been suspended for substance use, putting him at risk for further (and longer) suspensions.

Bell said he'd "probably be done" playing football if he sat out the entire season.

Bell would, of course, would be turning down a hefty salary by refusing to play under the tag. 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.

If there's a silver lining for the Steelers, it's that Bell doesn't appear eager to leave Pittsburgh. "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".

The Steelers - who face the Jaguars in the Divisional Round Sunday afternoon - would have to tag Bell between February 20 and March 6, leaving them until July 16 to work out a multi-year deal. "I'm in a position where I can do that, and I'm going to do it". "Right now, I'm just kind of doing it because I love it. Now, I've done everything but own a Super Bowl". These comments went viral, and Bell took to Twitter in an attempt to defuse the situation.

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

"I don't necessarily care about the money aspect of it".

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