Bell and the Steelers failed to reach a multiyear extension earlier this year, so if he wanted to play, he had no choice but to abide by the terms of the franchise tag.
When Fowler asked the question, all Bell had to do was say he isn't thinking about the offseason and move to his talk of the Super Bowl.
Bell, who was named first-team All-Pro after a monster season for the Steelers, could sit out the 2018 season or retire from football if the team tries to get him to play another season with the franchise tag, ESPN reported Thursday. I know what I do and what I bring to the table.
"Just get the numbers straight exactly where we want them", Bell said.
"We understand we have a great group here", Bell said, per ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler. "I'm not going out here getting the ball 400 times if I'm not getting what I feel I'm valued at".
This could very well be nothing more than Bell publicly grandstanding in hopes of signing a long-term deal with Pittsburgh prior to the March 6th deadline for the team to franchise the running back. The 321 rushing attempts represented a career high for Bell, the most since he tallied 290 rushing attempts in 2014.
Bell would, of course, would be turning down a hefty salary by refusing to play under the tag. "If I was a free agent and they let me go, be a free agent, then yeah, I'm going to go explore free agency, test the market". While the Steelers could prevent Bell from playing for another team by using the tag, they can't force him to play under it either.
Last year, Bell turned down a contract estimated to be worth $30 million in the first two years because he felt the team wasn't giving him his worth. He's as risky a runner as he is a pass catcher and he wants to be compensated as such.
"I don't necessarily care about the money aspect of it". "Right now, I'm just kind of doing it because I love it. I just want to be valued where I'm at".
As a result, Bell was tagged in 2017 for $12.1 million. I feel I can do that. It's an unlikely scenario, but Bell is keeping his options open, as he should.