Le'Veon Bell is serious about getting a long-term contract from the Steelers. Bell might have received a similar workload in the AFC championship loss to the New England Patriots a year ago, too, had he not aggravated a knee injury that limited him to six carries, with four of them coming in the first seven minutes of the game.
"We understand we have a great group here", said Bell, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. Bell will be on a track to free agency unless the Steelers strike a long-term deal with him or use the tag again to try to get another one-year contract. "I can care less about what happens after this season...my biggest thing I'm focused on is this team I'm on right now, playing for/with my brothers, & bringing back a 7th ring! what happens next year is irrelevant to my goals".
Bell had another spectacular year this season, rushing for 1,291 yards and nine touchdowns while catching a single-season career-high 85 passes for 655 yards and two touchdowns en route to his third Pro Bowl appearance and second first-team All-Pro selection. "I hope it doesn't come to that, but I would definitely consider it", Bell said Thursday. For Bell, that meant a salary of $12.12 million for this season.
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"I've made a lot of money, I'm happy where I'm at, I've got a good family - I don't really need to play football", Bell told ESPN. "I'm not going out here getting the ball 400 times if I'm not getting what I feel I'm valued at". If I am playing this game, I want to set standards for all the other running backs behind me, like Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott, Melvin Gordon, guys like that. "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. I'm in a position where I can do that, and I'm going to do it".
He turned down an offer last offseason saying he was undervalued! But he indicated Thursday that's not the kind of deal he's interested in. Could we be seeing the last of Bell in an National Football League uniform?
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