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Le'Veon Bell ready to carry heavy load for Steelers

Le'Veon Bell ready to carry heavy load for Steelers”

Bell is making $12.1m this season and the franchise tag is expected to increase his salary to $14.5m in 2018 if applied again.

They certainly can do other things to alleviate that issue, such as restructuring Ben Roethlisberger's contract (he's now at $23.2 million vs. the cap in what will be his age-36 season) or releasing a few veterans.

Bell said: "Just get the numbers straight, exactly where we want them. I'm not going out here getting the ball 400 times if I'm not getting what I feel I'm valued at". In any case, Bell's next contract is not something that will be settled in short order, with the Steelers preparing for Sunday's divisional-round playoff game against the Jaguars.

Retirement seems extreme, but Bell's rationalization to ESPN was that if he sits out 2018, he'd probably be finished entirely.

"I'm not going to settle for anything", Bell told ESPN this week.

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The sides can not begin discussing a new deal until after the season. Bell held out at the start of training camp this season because he was unhappy about having to play under the franchise tag. Bell sat out virtually all of training camp this summer before returning to the team September 1. "They tag me again, it will be me [saying], 'OK, do I want to play on the tag or do I not want to play on the tag?' That's what it comes down to". But for the Steelers it could net them more now than it would letting him walk as a free agent this offseason and possibly earning a compensatory pick (likely a third-rounder) in 2019.

National Football League teams can place the franchise tag on a player between February 20 and March 6. If he gets tagged and doesn't get to test free agency, then things might get sticky. "Right now, I'm just kind of doing it because I love it".

Taking to Twitter to explain himself after the comments, Bell let the sports world know he doesn't care about next offseason, until next offseason.

"I'm trying to win a super bowl", he wrote. The three-time Pro Bowler wrote that his main priority is winning a Super Bowl right now and that "what happens next year is irrelevant to my goals".



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