"I can care less about what happens after this season...my biggest thing I'm focused on is this team I'm on right now, playing for/with my brothers, & bringing back a 7th ring! what happens next year is irrelevant to my goals". It wouldn't be too hard to see the Steelers calling Bell's bluff and tagging him again.
That's probably the last time we'll hear Bell talk about his franchise tag this postseason. Sure, there's a very good reason for them to keep feeding the ball to Bell as they have - he's one of the best, if not the best, backs of his generation. If you throw in Bell's final season at Michigan State, when he touched the ball a whopping 414 times in 13 games, his workload has been significant.
Although the Pittsburgh Steelers are mired in their preparation for the Jacksonville Jaguars in the divisional round of the playoffs, there is already speculation about their upcoming offseason. Bell already turned down a deal that reportedly would have given him $30 million guaranteed over the first two seasons. If they win that game, it's on to the AFC championship.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell is apparently prepared to play hardball with his current team as he seeks a new long-term contract this offseason. Not as much as his talent would suggest. And Bell wants to be treated as such - even if that means threatening the end of his football career.
That might drop his value to a Day 2 or Day 3 pick. He is a genuine workhorse, one of the last true full-time feature backs left in today's National Football League game.
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Fowler tweeted out that he took full responsibility for asking the question of Bell and then pointed out that he spoke extensively of this season and winning a Super Bowl.
One of those picks could be used to select Bell's replacement, as the Steelers don't have a lot now on the roster at running back beyond James Conner, who ended his rookie season on IR with an MCL injury. The Steelers have traded away their fourth- and sixth-round picks and have an extra fifth-rounder, via previous trades.
It's only natural for a pending free agent to think of his future.