Steelers RB Bell will play under tag, won't show until Week 1
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le'Veon Bell might not be happy about receiving the franchise tag for the second consecutive year, but he made it clear on Wednesday that he won't be sitting out any games this season.
"Honestly, no, I'm not going to sit out. I'm going to be in the facility Week 1," Bell said during an Instagram Live chat. "It's going to be a rerun of last year. I'm not going to camp. I'm not doing nothing else extra, OTAs, none of that. ...
"I'm going to strictly go to what I have to go to. I want to win every game. I want to have the best statistical career that I possibly can, so I want to play in every game that I can possibly play."
Bell, 26, threatened in January to sit out or retire if tagged again and reiterated those feelings to ESPN on Monday. The Steelers assigned the tag -- a one-year deal worth $14.554 million -- to Bell on Tuesday, and the sides now have until July 16 to reach a long-term agreement. The back is reportedly aiming for an annual value of at least $14.5 million on a multi-year contract.
"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 told ESPN on Monday. "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."
After missing all previous offseason work, Bell reported to the Steelers on Sept. 1 last year, nine days before the team's season opener against the Cleveland Browns. He averaged just 3.6 yards per carry over the first five weeks of the season before improving to 4.2 yards per carry over the rest of the season.
--Field Level Media
© Copyright Reuters Ltd. All rights reserved. The information contained in this news report may not be published, broadcast or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of Reuters Ltd.