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Le'Veon Bell would sit out or retire if tagged again

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At age 25 and fresh off a first-team All-Pro season, Le'Veon Bell is putting his own football future in question.

The Pittsburgh Steelers running back told ESPN that he's prepared to sit out a season, or even retire, if franchise tagged for the second consecutive year.

"I hope it doesn't come to that, but I would definitely consider it," he said before Thursday's practice.

Bell played on a $12.1 million franchise tag in 2017, and that number is projected to increase to around $14.5 million for next season. Teams can tag a player between Feb. 20 and March 6, after which they would have until July 16 at 4 p.m. ET to work out a long-term contract.

Last July, Bell turned down a long-term contract that reports said was worth up to $30 million in the first two years because he felt the team didn't value his full skill set.

Asked what the Steelers should do this offseason, Bell said simply: "Value me."

"Just get the numbers straight, exactly where we want them. I'm not going to settle for anything," Bell said. "I know what I do and what I bring to the table. I'm not going out here getting the ball 400 times if I'm not getting what I feel I'm valued at."

Bell rushed 321 times for 1,291 yards and caught 85 passes for 655 yards, along with 11 total touchdowns in 2017. Bell has 7,996 total yards through 62 career games, which is the most of any NFL player over that span since the 1970 AFL-NFL merger, outdistancing Eric Dickerson (7,842), according to ESPN Stats and Information.

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