Le’Veon Bell is threatening to sit out the 2018 season or even announce his retirement if the Pittsburgh Steelers put the franchise tag on the star running back again, according to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler.
Bell, a former Michigan State standout, was on a franchise tag in the 2017 season and made $12.1 million. But Bell does not want another short-term contract solution in 2018. The 25-year-old running back, who has taken more than 1,200 carries in five NFL seasons, wants a multi-year deal that he feels like pays him enough.
“Just get the numbers straight, exactly where we want them. I’m not going to settle for anything,” Bell told ESPN. “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 took a career-high 321 carries during the 2017 campaign, and he had 1,291 rushing yards and 9 touchdowns on the ground for the Steelers.
Bell could just be saying this as a negotiation tool, but he did have a holdout ahead of the 2017 season. Before any contract negotiations start, however, the Steelers and Bell face the Jacksonville Jaguars in the AFC Divisional Round of the playoffs on Sunday in Pittsburgh.