Early in the Steelers’ offseason, running back Le'Veon Bell said that he and the team were closer to agreeing on a long-term deal than they were last year but things have apparently stopped progressing toward that goal.
A report on Monday indicated that the Steelers will use the franchise tag on Bell for the second year in a row and Bell confirmed that a longer deal is unlikely to happen before Tuesday’s deadline for using the tag.
“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, via Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. “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 mused about sitting out the entire season if he’s tagged again and told Fowler he’s not backing away from that possibility. Doing so would keep him from earning the $14.5 million salary that comes with the tag and the two sides will be able to continue talking about a deal through July 16.