It’s no surprise that the Pittsburgh Steelers will officially franchise tag Le’Veon Bell within 24 hours. We’re writing about it – again – because for the first time, Bell has admitted that’s going to be what happens.
Speaking with ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Bell described the negotiations, which have seemed to go nowhere since the season ended.
“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 told Fowler. “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.”
That, obviously, was the crux of the issue last year. Bell has mentioned the biggest sticking point is the guarantee money in the contract. It’s unclear how much of that he is seeking.
After Bell is tagged tomorrow, the team will have until mid-July to work out a long-term extension or else he’ll play through the tag again in 2018. He confirmed to Fowler what he said before, saying he will consider retirement if a deal isn’t reached.
He also told ESPN something “might” get done but all signs point to nothing happening. Too far of a gap between team and play, just as the situation played out in 2017.
Bell is one of several NFL players hit with the tag this year. Miami’s Jarvis Landry and Dallas’ Demarcus Lawrence have each received it; the Dolphins, reportedly, are now looking to trade Landry and Baltimore is rumored to be in the mix.