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Le’Veon Bell won’t hold out if Steelers use franchise tag

Le'Veon Bell
Courtesy of USA Today Sports

Le’Veon Bell has changed his tune about what he’ll do if the Pittsburgh Steelers use the franchise tag again to secure his services for the 2018 NFL season. Previously, he threatened he’d not only hold out but would also consider retirement.

Speaking about his contract status on NFL Network’s Super Bowl LIVE show Friday, Bell said he plans on being at training camp in 2018. But he also contradicted himself by saying he would “absolutely” consider retirement if he gets tagged.

He said the big deal with his contract is the guaranteed money.

“Yeah, a lot of it is about the guarantees,” he said. “That’s what a long-term deal really is, you know? You want that security.” When asked if he’d accept a deal worth $50 million guaranteed, Bell said, “Absolutely.”

Previously, Bell has set a very high bar for how much he values himself — essentially it’s Mike Glennon money. That’s a very steep price tag for a running back, no matter how talented. That said, it’s clear the Steelers have to really up the ante when it comes to how much of any deal is fully guaranteed.

Bell made it clear that he didn’t change the way he approached last season playing on the franchise tag, which paid him just over $12 million. That said, he did sit out team workouts and the preseason before signing that deal and came out of the gate a bit slower than we’ve seen in years past.