Le’Veon Bell Threatens To Sit Out 2018 Or Retire If Tagged

Barring something drastic changing by March, the Steelers are going to use the franchise tag on Le’Veon Bell for a second straight year.

If the parties fail to work out a deal by the July deadline, Bell could threaten a hard-line stance. The Pittsburgh ball-carrier said Thursday he would consider sitting out the entire 2018 season or retiring rather than play on the tag again, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com notes, adding Bell would probably retire if he did sit out an entire season.

It will eventually come down to me playing on the tag or not,” Bell said, via Fowler. “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. 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.”

A second Bell tag would be for around $14.5MM, guaranteed once the tender is signed, so Bell would be walking away from the highest salary of his career and a figure no other running back can come close to matching in a season.

Bell will turn 26 in the offseason and will be coming off a 404-touch season — by far the most of his career — and plays a position where bouncing back from these high-workload campaigns has proven difficult.

Just get the numbers straight, exactly where we want them. I’m not going to settle for anything,” Bell said, via Fowler. “I know what I do and what I bring to the table. I’m not going out here getting the ball 400 times if I’m not getting what I feel I’m valued at.”

Bell referencing touches could reflect he’s again hoping for a deal that also takes into account his role as Pittsburgh’s No. 2 wide receiver, which came up during the sides’ latest round of negotiations. Bell’s camp reportedly turned down an offer that would have paid him $30MM over the 2017 and ’18 seasons, so playing on back-to-back tags would end up costing him. And having not agreed to a deal this year deprives him of a key prime season that could be used in negotiations. But it’s undeniable how valuable he is to the Steelers, who have never had a running back prior to Bell land on two All-Pro first teams.

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 said. “Right now, I’m just kind of doing it because I love it. Now, I’ve done everything but own a Super Bowl

“I don’t necessarily care about the money aspect of it. I just want to be valued where I’m at. If I am playing this game, I want to set standards for all the other running backs behind me, like Todd Gurley and Ezekiel ElliottMelvin Gordon, guys like that. I’m a guy they can kind of look at. I feel I can do that. I’m in a position where I can do that, and I’m going to do it.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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61 comments on “Le’Veon Bell Threatens To Sit Out 2018 Or Retire If Tagged

  1. deal1122

    This is really getting annoying as a Steelers fan. The offer last year was more than reasonable

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    • Surprisingly a Bucks Fan

      Ha no it wasn’t. he deserves more than the top wr

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    • bigjonliljon

      I know it can’t happen, but…. I’d say screw him if I’m the Steelers. Tag him, use him and abuse him for another year and then dump him. There’s no “I” I team. Sick of these prima Donna ‘s

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      • yoyo137

        Good idea, i hope the Steelers don’t pay him i’d love to see him on the Ravens next year

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  2. wright0525

    He plays a violent sport, and his quality of life will probably be greatly affected….he should get every dollar he can!! I’m sure his BILLIONAIRE owner can afford it.

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      • Dodgethis

        You clearly don’t understand wealth or investment, so why comment on it?

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    • Polish Hammer

      And just to spite them he’ll sit out and take $0.00 instead of that $14,500,00.00…that’ll show them!

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      • Pablo

        When they miss they playoffs in 2018 it probably would show them.

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      • yoyo137

        And then you’ll make a comment online for the whopping total of $0.00 also!! And still act like you’re better than everyone else!! What do u do for a living Polish Hammer i’m curious

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    • bigjonliljon

      His choice to do so. And being paid handsomely. Let him go work at Walmart and see if he gets 15 million per year doing a real job.

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      • He’s made plenty of money. If money was an issue he wouldn’t care if he got tagged. At this point, he’s thinking about doing this because he doesn’t feel like he’s getting paid what his actual value is. Right or wrong, he has a value in mind that he’s worth. But he knows he can’t go out and actually get that value on the market because of the franchise tag.

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        • Polish Hammer

          Being forced to take money at the average of the top 5 of your well-compensated position is just so degrading…

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          • balloonknots

            Steelers are worth upward of 2.5 billion with a B and this is worker along with your QB is your prime employee
            AP got much more in his prime and Bell is arguably better because of his ability to help on passing downs.
            Give him 4 guarantee years and a 7 year contract. Silly game is played in NFL and it’s running back

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              • Dodgethis

                Why would you refer to him as ad? His initials are AP and that’s what everyone has revered to him as for the better part of a decade.

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                • Polish Hammer

                  His nickname is AD as in All Day, not AP and he’s mistakenly been referred to.

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                • Polish Hammer

                  Minnesota Vikings running back and the NFL MVP Adrian Peterson stopped by Reddit today to do an AMA (ask me anything) session with its users to promote the Wheaties boxes that he is currently appearing on and Reddit users rarely disappoint, here are some highlights.

                  Q: Do you prefer AD or AP?

                  A: AD!

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                  • Polish Hammer

                    Ditch the AP … for Adrian Peterson, it’s “All Day”

                    It might seem like an insignificant difference, but Saints fans will likely hear a lot of both as they talk about newly signed running back in the coming months.

                    The nicknames serve the same purpose, they identify one of the best rushers in NFL history, but one has special significance for the former Viking; the other is just initials.

                    Sometimes an opportunity arises that is too good not to explore.
                    Peterson has said, most notably during a question and answer session on Reddit, that he clearly prefers “AD.” Potentially confusing because it also happens to be the first two letters of his name, the title was given to him by his father when he was a child.

                    He was given the nickname because “he could run all day,” according to a book titled “Adrian Peterson,” written by Clifford W. Mills. “He always had energy to burn, and was always in motion.”

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  3. Letsgoreds1

    Why say this right before your playoff game against a team that you lost to earlier in the year? The only way to stop Brady and the Pats from winning another Super Bowl is possibly Pittsburgh. Wouldn’t this possibly be a distraction?

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    • E munchy

      Another way of looking at is why would a reporter ask him about his contract right before a playoff game. If it wasn’t brought up I’m assuming he wouldn’t be talking about it.

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      • PasswordIsPassword

        Then he should have declined comment when asked, given the forthcoming playoff game.

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        • driftcat28

          Exactly, his only reply should’ve been “I’m focused on preparing for Jacksonville”

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          • You should tell that to half the Steelers’ locker room. Most of them are already talking about how they are looking forward to the Patriots rematch.

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  4. scottbour

    Sit out maybe, Retire, Bullshit, Bell and Ben are both “Drama Queens”. Just play ball and the contract will take care of it self

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    • halos101

      Lol. A fan telling a player to risk his life and just “play ball” instead of worrying about the reason they are playing. Wake up dude

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    • The contract won’t take care of itself. Even if he plays out the next year on the franchise tag, the Steelers are unlikely to tag him a third time. At that point, an injury could completely change his market and he might never get the chance to make that much again. Players holding out rarely has to do with “I’m not making enough money”, it has more to do with “I would like more financial security than the remaining guaranteed/unguaranteed years still on my contract.” There are a couple of players who hold out for more money, but most of the time it comes back to financial security (as in guaranteed to get paid for a longer time than their contract currently states).

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  5. Kenleyfornia74

    If he really wants to break the bank san francisco seems like a fit for him

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    • halos101

      omg could you imagine the hype sf would get if they added bell and kept jimmy g obviously will)

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  6. TJECK109

    No way to put it other than being an idiot. As a Steelers fan let him retire. You aren’t going to strong arm the Steelers into what you want.

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  7. CubsRebsSaints

    RB’s get the shaft. They get worn down at 28/29 and told they’re very replaceable. And can’t even get paid ONE time in a career. I get that. But he’s overdoing it now. And he said, it’s not really about the money. That’s a load of bull. Talking out of both sides of his mouth.

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    • It’s about the money, but has more to do with the financial security. If he was to play the next year on the tag, that’s the only guaranteed money he is set to earn/make. If he signs a contract, he would likely double and maybe even triple that guarantee over a couple more years.

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  8. Kraycik

    I knew he was dumb, but not that dumb.
    Maybe too many shots to the head.
    Nice knowing you moron

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  9. driftcat28

    This is what makes the Steelers a joke of a team. Why on earth are they talking about contracts when they have a playoff game in 3 days!?

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    • dirtydan

      Lol calling the Steelers a joke of a team. You’re a moron if you think that. They’re one of the most successful sports franchises in history and very rarely deal with drama compared to other teams.

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      • b1rdsonbat

        you should change that to one of the most successful football teams in history. plenty of other teams have more than 5 or 6(i forget how many they have) “championships” and to be fair, the steelers have been in the spotlight on and off for years. AB and his contract. Ben and his rape thing. Bell and drugs. bell and missed physical theropy. more bell and missed drug tests..

        now lets talk about joke of a team. a team can have a prestigious history and still currently be a joke of a team. cowboys were prime examples of a team that WAS great and has only be ok for years… some pf those years im sure even you called them a joke of a team….

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      • “Very rarely deal with drama compared to other teams.” Historically? Probably yes. The past 10 years? Not at all. Especially the past two or three years. Plenty of suspensions, trade/contract demands, drama-worthy and headline grabbing quotes.

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  10. scottstots

    The franchise tag shouldn’t even exist. Pay your players what they deserve or let them go to a team that will.

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    • Agreed. That or make a 1 year max on the amount of years that it can be placed on the same guy. The incremental pay raise only acts as a deterent in the third year and with more players stepping up their game, it only benefits the team as opposed to the player.

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  11. madmanTX

    Screw this: accept the tag or retire or whatever. The Steelers can replace Bell. They’re really good at getting great running backs.

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  12. dust44

    I think the franchise tag should only be allowed to b used on a player 1 year. This multiple tags crap has got to end. And in Pittsburghs defense they went with a “fair market” RB salary. In his defense he’s more then just a RB. But, at the end of the day Pitt should of offered atleast 3-4 years at 15. He probably would of signed then.

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  13. Pablo

    I don’t get what the deal is with football owners. You rarely even give fully guaranteed contracts. Who care if you put extra years on paper and cut them when their performance dips. It’s also weird to hear so many people defending a front office that isn’t putting itself on the field in a game that guarantees cutting a players life expectancy.

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  14. balloonknots

    Unlike MLB overpaid babies NFL players should get as much as they. They get discarded by teams the minute they slow a bit without long term guarantees
    I get the QBs and lack of quality at that position puts a premium for their services but cmon rbs take a pounding for little money and bell is as a sure thing as they come. Pay the man or let him get his money elsewhere.

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  15. A one year max for the same player on a franchise tag will solve more than half of the contract holdouts. With players stuck at a fixed rate for a minimum of 4 years (and 5 for the good first round picks) the truly good players don’t see the open market until they are towards the end of their prime/already at the end of it. Teams can run through the length of the contract and just franchise tag the star players for two years and let them walk before tagging them for a third year. For RBs, they enter the market with a ton of “miles” on their bodies and only a select few will actually even get paid at a decent rate.

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    • ships1941

      Waa, waa, A couple of million a year for carrying a football seems
      Pretty decent remuneration for someone that probably didn’t graduate
      College. After 5 years go back to school finish your education and by then
      You’ll only be early 30’s and a full life ahead.
      But most of these cry babies will piss their money away before they’re 35-40.

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  16. 1090198

    After this year trade him and our number one pick to the giants. We could then draft Barkley from penn state and use the extra money to sign a free agent inside linebacker

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  17. ships1941

    These guys are real prima donnas: I guess 14 million a year is not enough.
    If he had go out and get a real job what do you figure he be doing.
    Maybe an insurance salesman, car salesman, banker, all nice jobs but
    Not making 14m.
    They should be reminded there’s no I in the word team.
    They’re all self centered FAH that should be thankful with what they have.

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