The Pittsburgh Steelers have informed Le'Veon Bell that they will apply the franchise tag to him for the second consecutive year in the absence of an unlikely deal by Tuesday's deadline, Bell told ESPN. The Steelers have increased last year's long-term contract offer but Bell's floor is now $14.5 million per year, based on the projected tag number for a running back. "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." Bell said he wasn't bluffing when he told ESPN in January that he'll contemplate retirement if asked to play on the tag another year. All options are on the table. "I just have to decide if I'm going to play when the time comes," Bell said. Bell, 26, confirmed last year he turned down a contract worth $42 million over the first three years and an average of $13.3 million over the life of the deal. Even his mom wanted him to sign it. Bell almost did. Since then, the Steelers are closer but not quite where Bell wants them to be with an offer -- though Bell adds both sides are negotiating in earnest.
Le'Veon Bell: 'I don't think I should settle for anything less than what I'm valued at'
ESPN | Mar 5