Published: Sat, January 13, 2018
Sports | By Spencer Underwood

Le'Veon Bell says next year is 'irrelevant' after franchise tag comments

Le'Veon Bell says next year is 'irrelevant' after franchise tag comments

Bell rushed for 1,291 yards on 321 carries this season and also caught 85 passes for 655 yards.

As a result, Bell was tagged in 2017 for $12.1 million.

As for retirement, Bell reportedly said he "hope [s] it doesn't come to that" but that if he decides to walk away from the Steelers he'll probably just hang up his cleats. He added 11 total touchdowns.

Bell's earning power may never be higher than it is this offseason, so it's little surprise he's willing to do whatever it takes to get as much money as possible-whether from the Steelers or another team. Bell said he would consider retiring, and if he did sit out a year, there likely wouldn't be a comeback in his future.

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Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell is apparently prepared to play hardball with his current team as he seeks a new long-term contract this offseason. "I can care less about what happens after this season...my biggest thing I'm focused on is this team I'm on right now, playing for/with my brothers, & bringing back a 7th ring! what happens next year is irrelevant to my goals". "Value me", Bell said Thursday. "I'm not going out here getting the ball 400 times if I'm not getting what I feel I'm valued at". He said a return to the National Football League is unlikely if he sits out the 2018 season. 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. As one of the team's top pass catchers, Bell's presence is known on nearly every play. "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". "Right now, I'm just kind of doing it because I love it".

Bell's comments, however, suggest the latter path could cause a standoff. "Now, I've done everything but own a Super Bowl".

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

Well, after a career full of highlight reels and plenty of talent left in the tank, Bell is looking for money.

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