"I hope it doesn't come to that, but I would definitely consider it", Bell told ESPN before Thursday's practice in preparation for Sunday's AFC Divisional playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
There is no debate how valuable running back Le'Veon Bell has been to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Ed Bouchette of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported that prior to this season Bell turned down a five-year deal that would have gotten him $30 million in the first two seasons. He also has 85 receptions for 655 yards, and has scored 11 touchdowns. "I'm not going out here getting the ball 400 times if I'm not getting what I feel I'm valued at".
"I'm not going to settle for anything", Bell told ESPN this week.
This isn't going away because Bell is open about his stance, and there's no going back now.
Bell said he would "probably be done" with football if he did sit out 2018.
"Just get the numbers straight exactly where we want them", Bell told Fowler. Bell has wanted a massive contract, citing the desire to help all running backs in an era that has devalued the position. He was unhappy because the two sides couldn't come to a long-term contract agreement. Steelers fans are sweating the timing of the comments, and although Bell had no intention of being a distraction, Steelers players shrug at the weekly chaos. He reached 7,500 yards from scrimmage in fewer games than any player (59) and by far leads the league in yards per scrimmage per game (129.0) since he entered the league as a second-round pick in 2013. Bell added that he doesn't need football to stay happy and he has already made enough money for his family. The three-time Pro Bowler wrote that his main priority is winning a Super Bowl right now and that "what happens next year is irrelevant to my goals". I'm a guy they can kind of look at. "Right now, I'm just kind of doing it because I love it". While the Steelers could prevent Bell from playing for another team by using the tag, they can't force him to play under it either. If he gets tagged and doesn't get to test free agency, then things might get sticky. Perhaps it was his way of trying to show how committed he is to wanting to stay in Pittsburgh for the long-haul and win it all this year.