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13 January 2018, 12:52 | Stacy Ballard
Steelers' Le'Veon Bell says he'd consider sitting out season, retiring if he's franchise tagged for second straight season
"I know what I do and what I bring to the table".
While Bell should not want to play under the franchise tag for a second straight season, that's really up to the Steelers organization unfortunately. But Bell turned it down, believing he was worth more. There's no denying that he's one of the top skill position players in the NFL. It's an unlikely scenario, but Bell is keeping his options open, as he should. He has been a three-time Pro Bowler and a two-time All-Pro in his five years out of Michigan State.
Although the Pittsburgh Steelers are mired in their preparation for the Jacksonville Jaguars in the divisional round of the playoffs, there is already speculation about their upcoming 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. 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. Bell might have received a similar workload in the AFC championship loss to the New England Patriots a year ago, too, had he not aggravated a knee injury that limited him to six carries, with four of them coming in the first seven minutes of the game. This could be Bell's only chance to hit the open market in his prime and land a lucrative contract.
That might drop his value to a Day 2 or Day 3 pick. Could we be seeing the last of Bell in an National Football League uniform?
If there's a silver lining for the Steelers, it's that Bell doesn't appear eager to leave Pittsburgh. Now the headlines are what might happen with Bell next season. It's also considered to be a good draft for RB talent, with several talented underclassmen already declaring early, so that certainly would make some sense. They are not projected to receive any compensatory picks in 2018 either. Whether Pittsburgh is going to pay him or not won't be known until the offseason.
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