Le’Veon Bell took to social media and threatened to retire as he and the Pittsburgh Steelers struggle to reach a long term deal for the second year in a row.
The Steelers have informed Bell that they plan to franchise tag him if a deal can’t be reached before Tuesday, the deadline to apply the franchise tag. The running back says he won’t settle for anything less than he’s worth.
Bell reiterated that retirement is an option to ESPN reporter Jeremy Fowler if a long term deal can’t be made, via NFL.com:
“I just have to decide if I’m going to play when the time comes,” Bell said, telling Fowler that retirement could be an option if no long-term deal is struck between the two parties.
Tuesday’s tag application does not mean Bell has to make that decision anytime soon, however. The imminent franchise tag buys both sides roughly four more months to work out a long-term contract (that deadline falls on July 16).
According to Bell, the Steelers and their star running back are “a lot closer than last year” when it comes to a new contract, but more talks need to be had between now and that summer cutoff date.
“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.”
Pay the man what he’s worth. He’s one of the best running backs in the NFL and is a huge part of the Steelers offense. According to Bell, he wants to be a Steeler too.
Pittsburgh: the city that took in a 21-year old kid from small-town Ohio, the city I battled thru adversity in, and the city that I became a man in. I love everything about being a Steeler, being in Pittsburgh, and I want nothing more than to finish the rest of my career in this cityyy!! #26Forever