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Pittsburgh Steelers star Le'Veon Bell has reportedly told ESPN that he'll consider sitting out the 2018 season, or even retiring, if the Steelers place the franchise tag on him again.

"I hope it doesn't come to that, but I would definitely consider it", Bell told ESPN.

Bell is making $12.1 million this season after the Steelers designated him with the franchise tag in the offseason.

Bell rushed for 1,291 yards in 2017 - his third season with at least 1,200 yards - and ran for nine touchdowns.

Le'Veon Bell is serious about getting a long-term contract from the Steelers. It's a contest in which Bell, who was rested in Week 17, will once again head Pittsburgh's ground game, and that's his (and the team's) current focus. This could be Bell's only chance to hit the open market in his prime and land a lucrative contract.

It is a bit odd to see Bell nearly do a complete 180 from the comments he made earlier in the day.

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The sides can not begin discussing a new deal until after the season. Teams can tag a player between February 20 and March 6, after which they would have until July 16 to work out a long-term deal.

Bell said he would "probably" walk away from the game if he skipped 2018.

Bell said: "Just get the numbers straight, exactly where we want them". "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".

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. "I'm not going out here getting the ball 400 times if I'm not getting what I feel I'm valued at". "Value me", Bell said Thursday. Perhaps it was his way of trying to show how committed he is to wanting to stay in Pittsburgh for the long-haul and win it all this year.

Well, after a career full of highlight reels and plenty of talent left in the tank, Bell is looking for money.