Le'Veon Bell says he would sit out over franchise tag

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Whether Pittsburgh is going to pay him or not won't be known until the offseason.

The Steelers could designate him with the franchise tag again, negotiate a new contract, trade him or release him after the season. "But I would definitely consider it". "I'm not going to settle for anything", Bell told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler. "I'm not going out here getting the ball 400 times if I'm not getting what I feel I'm valued at".

Bell and the Steelers failed in attempts to reach terms on a multiyear extension earlier this year, so if he wanted to play, he had no choice but to abide by the terms of the franchise tag. His cap hit for the same amount was almost $2 million more than the next highest-paid back. Even with Antonio Brown having an MVP-caliber season, one could argue that Bell is Pittsburgh's most important offensive player.

Translation: The Steelers have some considerable cap issues next season. Bell is willing to hold out much longer than that - but for now his focus remains on one thing: Bringing another Lombardi Trophy to Pittsburgh.

"Just get the numbers straight exactly where we want them", Bell told Fowler. It's an unlikely scenario, but Bell is keeping his options open, as he should.

Should Roethlisberger return for 2018, the Steelers will likely remain a playoff team.

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Despite missing 18 games over that stretch because of injuries and suspensions, Bell has averaged 24.9 touches per game.

But that's not enough for the former Michigan State back. But Bell does not want another short-term contract solution in 2018.

The Steelers star is now getting ready for his team's first playoff game of the season, a divisional round game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, in hope that this will lead to the team winning their first Super Bowl since the 2008 season. Outside of the New England Patriots, there isn't a more consistent victor in the AFC. Not as much as his talent would suggest.

There's no guarantee the two-time All-Pro running back will be in the Steel City beyond this season.

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.