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Le'Veon Bell Contemplating Retirement

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http://www.espn.com/nfl/story/_/id/22044556/leveon-bell-pittsburgh-steelers-sit-2018-retire-tagged-again

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The Pittsburgh Steelers running back told ESPN he's prepared to sit out a season or even retire if franchise tagged for the second consecutive year.

"I hope it doesn't come to that, but I would definitely consider it," he said before Thursday's practice.

Bell played on a $12.1 million franchise tag in 2017, and the number is projected to increase to around $14.5 million for next season. Teams can tag a player between Feb. 20 and March 6, after which they would have until July 16 at 4 p.m. ET to work out a long-term contract.

Asked what the Steelers should do this offseason, Bell said simply: "value me."

Bell rushed 321 times for 1,291 yards and caught 85 passes for 655 yards along with 11 total touchdowns in 2017. Bell's career average of 129 scrimmage yards per game is one of the best clips ever for an NFL player through the first five years of a career.

"I'm happy where I'm at," Bell said. "Football is kind of like my job, it's not something that makes me unhappy, but I don't need it to be happy. I've made the money that I feel I needed to make, my family would be good. I don't necessarily care if I get more money or not. Right now I'm playing it as, 'am I valued or not?'

Asked about leaving a productive career on the table, Bell cited his favorite player growing up, Barry Sanders, who retired with good years left in his legs.

Fresh off another season where he had over 400 touches for the Steelers, Bell is looking to secure at long term deal with either the Steelers, or wanting to test the free agent waters.

However, with the cap hit projected to be $14.5 million, it seems like a number that is low enough for the Steelers to be content with tagging him again.

But it's clear that for Bell, it's more than simply making the money, it's about receiving the long-term security and respect that comes with a big contract. Bell has gone out on a franchise tag this season and proven once again that he's one of the elite running backs in the NFL, and wants to be rewarded as such.

Will the Steelers and Bell reach a long-term agreement to keep him in Pittsburgh? Should the Steelers call his bluff and tag him again? Or will they respect him and let him test free agency if they can't come to an agreement?

As a fan of football, it would certainly be a shame to witness another elite player in his prime to walk away from the sport due to an off-the-field issue, but he's proven to that organization time and again that he's worth the money.

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I honestly think the Steelers let him walk. They've gotten everything out of him that they could. Let someone else pay for the eventual decline in production.

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We're potentially in for some trouble this offseason. We have a lot of guys that are going to cost a lot of money and I'm not sure we have enough fat to trim to make it possible. It'll be an interesting one to watch to say the least. 

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Well he has a promising rap career waiting for him if $15M/year isn't enough.  

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3 minutes ago, JLambert58 said:

Well he has a promising rap career waiting for him if $15M/year isn't enough.  

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...Although if he got a 4-6 year deal with 15M/year, I'm fairly certain he would sign that.

He feels he's proven, time and again, what his value is, and he's tired of the Steelers yanking him around with 1 year deals.

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It's mostly posturing, undoubtedly, but a second franchise tag wouldn't be bad for him. He'd double his career earnings in one more season and hit free agency again in his prime, at 26 years. Obviously a longer-term deal with more guaranteed money would be preferable but he'd still make a killing.

Edited by cddolphin

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18 minutes ago, RuskieTitan said:

He feels he's proven, time and again, what his value is, and he's tired of the Steelers yanking him around with 1 year deals.

I mean, he’s not wrong. I respect his stance. Not many guys out there you can trust to produce with 400+ touches. 

The position is at a premium low, financially speaking. And he’s made enough in his career to live the majority of the rest of his life comfortably, luxuriously. 

I think people will misinterpret his desire to be valued. He’s not a freaking crybaby or greedy. He’s like any of us, just on a glamorized platform that affects people’s egos. I feel like he really is trying to set a precedent for the elite RBs, especially the do-it-all guys like DJ, Gurley.

He’s asking for a genuine commitment from the Steelers as an organization. Pay him, for the years going forward where he exceeds, meets, and underperforms expectation. Put stock in a guy who has helped you tremendously thus far.  Probably feels his career with the Steelers thus far is worth that commitment. And I’d agree. Validate his legacy for the fans and for himself. Adrian Peterson type of situation, yet Bell arguably does more because of his receiving skills.

Will the Steelers do it? I don’t know. I’d like to think they will, for all the feels and what not. 

Should they? Eh. Letting a top-3 RB is kind of unheard of for a reason. But hell, there’s an argument to be made that he’s made by the Steelers supporting cast. That money could be allocated elsewhere. Much as I love Bell as a player, I wouldn’t. Someone else will though, and he economically deserves it. 

Edited by One Punch Man

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6 minutes ago, cddolphin said:

It's mostly posturing, undoubtedly, but a second franchise tag wouldn't be bad for him. He'd double his career earnings in one more season and hit free agency again in his prime, at 26 years. Obviously a longer-term deal with more guaranteed money would be preferable but he'd still make a killing.

Do you recall a Ryan Shazier of the Pittsburgh Steelers?

Seeing that happen on your own team, makes the prospect of playing on another 1 year deal very unappealing. He's looking out for his own best interests long-term. Obviously no one would ever want to suffer an injury like what Shazier did, but if it DID happen, what's better - being on a 1 year deal making 15 million, or having a 5 year contract with a guaranteed, oh, 40 million?

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8 minutes ago, RuskieTitan said:

Do you recall a Ryan Shazier of the Pittsburgh Steelers?

Seeing that happen on your own team, makes the prospect of playing on another 1 year deal very unappealing. He's looking out for his own best interests long-term. Obviously no one would ever want to suffer an injury like what Shazier did, but if it DID happen, what's better - being on a 1 year deal making 15 million, or having a 5 year contract with a guaranteed, oh, 40 million?

Of course one is better, but playing on a second tag for a cool $17m is far, far preferable to retiring because you didn't get the deal you wanted. Plus it's more likely than not he would be able to sign a 3-5 year deal at age 26 for another $20m+ guaranteed.

Besides, there isn't an active RB that even sniffed $40m guaranteed on a single contract. Even Adrian Peterson's mega deal in 2011 only had $36m in guaranteed money, and Bell could make half that much in a single season by being tagged a second consecutive year.

Edited by cddolphin

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Nice to see the players are more worried about, playing the Patriots and worried about their money next year, than worried about actually playing the Jaguars this weekend.

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9 minutes ago, TENINCH said:

Poor guy. Getting paid millions to play a kids game.

Get paid what you are worth relative to your value.

If you are only worth 25k to your company, then that's what you earn. If you feel you are worth 50k, you go to your boss and argue for a raise. If you are worth millions to your company, why wouldn't you strive to get paid? The difference between you going to management and asking for a raise, and Le'Veon Bell going to the front office and asking for a raise, is that you are free to go to a competitor if you feel you aren't being compensated accordingly, whereas Bell does not have that ability if his current employer utilizes the franchise tag.

Just because the finances are different, doesn't mean the principles change.

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21 minutes ago, TENINCH said:

Poor guy. Getting paid millions to play a kids game.

This is always one of the lowest brow comment made on these debates. Now we just wait for “if i played in the nfl id play for he league min because blah blah blah” to beat out yours.

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Bell was offered a deal which averaged $12 million dollars a year, $30 million to be delivered in the first two years, and $42 million over the first three years, and the deal was reportedly for 5-years.

 It’s not like the Steelers are low balling him or something.  His ego might be getting the best of him.  

 

 

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