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13 January 2018, 12:55 | Charlene Valdez
Le’Veon Bell says next year is ‘irrelevant’ after franchise tag comments
"I hope it doesn't come to that, but I would definitely consider it", Bell said.
Bell, 25, played the 2017 season on a $12.1 million franchise tag. He was slated to hit the open market previous year before the Steelers placed the franchise tag on him, fearful he would sign elsewhere.
The star running back carried the ball 321 times for 1,291 yards and rushing nine touchdowns this season while catching 85 passes for 766 yards and two 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. "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", Bell told Fowler. As one of the team's top pass catchers, Bell's presence is known on nearly every play.
With running back Le'Veon Bell possibly entering free agency this offseason and quarterback Ben Roethlisberger undecided on whether or not he will play another year, the future of the Pittsburgh Steelers certainly seems murky at the moment. Bell sat out virtually all of training camp this summer before returning to the team September 1.
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.
The team did have a long-term offer on the table until July 18, the deadline for franchise player designees to avoid playing this season under the tag by inking a different deal.
"I don't necessarily care about the money aspect of it", explains Bell. "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". "Right now, I'm just kind of doing it because I love it". GM Kevin Colbert would then have to weigh what's best; for an aging roster and a Super Bowl window that might be closing, he could decide it behooves the team to get the 2018 selection.
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