I don't think I should settle - Steelers' Bell discusses second straight franchise tag
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell has no plans to simply settle after his second straight franchise tag.
Bell on Tuesday confirmed to ESPN the team have informed him they will designate him once again after the two sides failed to reach an agreement on a long-term deal ahead of the deadline.
"We're not coming to a number we both agree on - they are too low, or I guess they feel I'm too high," Bell said.
"I'm playing for strictly my value to the team. That's what I'm asking. I don't think I should settle for anything less than what I'm valued at."
The one-year tag will be worth $14.544million, which is up from the $12.12m he earned under the franchise tag last year. Still, Bell reiterated there was no guarantee he will sign and that he was not bluffing when he threatened to retire or sit out next season if a long-term deal was not negotiated.
"I'm the one to bet on myself. And I'll do it again," Bell said.
"I understand how the Steelers do contracts. Last year, I was pounding the table on guaranteed money. That's not the case. If I'm not getting guaranteed money, I want a lot more up front. It's year-to-year with the Steelers. Essentially if I sign a four- or five-year deal, I'm playing four or five franchise tags.
"Earlier I said I felt we would get one done, and this year we are a lot closer than last year. In good spirit, I feel we can get something done. But unless something drastic changes, it won't be [this week]."
Despite the setback, Bell went on Twitter on Monday to express his desire to stay in Pittsburgh and retire with the franchise that took a chance on him.
Pittsburgh: the city that took in a 21-year old kid from small-town Ohio, the city I battled thru adversity in, the city that I became a man in. I love everything about being a Pittsburgh Steeler, and I want nothing more than to finish the rest of my career in Pitt! #26Foreverpic.twitter.com/mhs2ikpK71-- Le'Veon Bell (@LeVeonBell) March 6, 2018
Bell, 26, finished with 1,291 yards and nine touchdowns on 321 carries in 15 games last season. He has 7,996 yards from scrimmage through 62 games over his first five NFL seasons.