The Pittsburgh Steelers called Le’veon Bell’s retirement bluff and doubled down.
The team put the franchise tag on the running back despite his threat to just retire if he’s going to go through the indignity once again.
The franchise tag is worth $14.544 million for one year, which is a bit of a bump from the $12.1 million he earned last year. In the past season, he recorded 321 carries for a total of 1,291 yards, along with 85 receptions for a total of 655 yards. The Steelers finished with a 13-3 record.
After he was tagged last season, he didn’t join the training camp. Fans can expect that he will do the same thing again this season. He has until July 16 to sign the contract or decide to follow through with his threats to walk away or sign with another team.
However, Bell had a strange post on his Twitter account hours after the report of the franchise tag surfaced. He wrote, “Pittsburgh: the city that took in a 21-year old kid from small-town Ohio, the city I battled thru adversity in, the city that I became a man in. I love everything about being a Pittsburgh Steeler, and I want nothing more than to finish the rest of my career in Pitt! #26Forever.”
He told ESPN that his camp just couldn’t agree on the right amount with the team.
“They are too low, or I guess they feel I’m too high,” he said.
But Bell said that he’s not over-evaluating his value but came up with the number in relation to his value to the Pittsburgh Steelers. “That’s what I’m asking. I don’t think I should settle for anything less than what I’m valued at,” he added.
He also claimed that his retirement threat still stands. “I just have to decide if I’m going to play when the time comes,” he said.