Le'Veon Bell ready to carry heavy load for Steelers

Rachel Hardy
January 13, 2018

On Thursday, the Pittsburgh Steelers running back was quoted as saying that if the Steelers franchise him again, retirement is an option (which you can read about here). He will be a free agent after the season, unless the Steelers sign him to a long-term contract or place the franchise tag on Bell for the second straight year. He had 321 carries for 1,291 yards and 85 receptions for 655 yards in the regular season, and the Steelers are preparing to play the Jaguars in an AFC Divisional Round playoff game Sunday at Heinz Field.

If there's a silver lining for the Steelers, it's that Bell doesn't appear eager to leave Pittsburgh. "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 not going to settle for anything. He said he would have no trouble sitting out the 2018 campaign. As one of the team's top pass catchers, Bell's presence is known on nearly every play.

Last year, Bell turned down a contract estimated to be worth $30 million in the first two years because he felt the team wasn't giving him his worth.

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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. If Bell did sit out 2018 if he's tagged again, he'd be turning down a deal that far surpasses what any other back will be getting. Teams can tag a player between February 20 and March 6, after which they would have until July 16 to work out a long-term deal.

He added: "I don't necessarily care about the money aspect of it". Right now, though, Bell is just trying to focus on the playoffs. The three-time Pro Bowler wrote that his main priority is winning a Super Bowl right now and that "what happens next year is irrelevant to my goals". "If I was a free agent and they let me go, be a free agent, then yeah, I'm going to go explore free agency, test the market".

But we also understand Bell's initial comments.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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