Bell has wanted a massive contract, citing the desire to help all running backs in an era that has devalued the position. Pittsburgh reportedly offered him a long-term deal in July that would have paid him roughly $30 million over the first two years of the deal.
The Steelers could designate him with the franchise tag again, negotiate a new contract, trade him or release him after the season.
Bell missed the 2014 and 2015 playoffs with knee injuries and after practically carrying the Pittsburgh offense through the second half of the season in 2016, the groin problem he spent weeks trying to ignore flared up early in the AFC championship game.
At age 25 and fresh off a first-team All-Pro season, Le'Veon Bell is putting his own football future in question. If Pittsburgh does go the distance this year, nothing tends to stretch a team's pockets more than coming off a Super Bowl win the year before.
The running back and part-time rapper considers himself unlike any other player in the league.
He finished third in the league in yards rushing (1,291) and 10th in receptions (85) despite sitting out the regular-season finale with a first-round bye already clinched. As it was, Bell did not report to the Steelers until September 1 this season as a reaction to his first tag.
"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.
"We understand we have a great group here", said Bell, according to Jeremy Fowler of ESPN. In fact, the spotlight might just fuel Bell even more. However, last night, Bell said on Twitter that he's focused on winning the Super Bowl and nothing else right now. I just want to be valued where I'm at. It wouldn't be too hard to see the Steelers calling Bell's bluff and tagging him again. Bell sat out virtually all of training camp this summer before returning to the team September 1. He's projected to produce 18.6 FD points at a cost of $9,400 in this week's Divisional Round matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars. "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".