Bell's value in 2018 gets even more complicated because he has logged 406 touches already this season, before the Steelers' start the playoffs, and that many touches usually has an effect on running backs in future years.
Bell was one of the few players that was hit with the hated franchise tag heading into the 2017 National Football League season.
Bell told ESPN's Jeremy Fowler on Thursday that he would consider sitting out the 2018 season or even retiring altogether if the Steelers used the franchise tag on him once again. Bell's desire with regards to the terms of a new contract is simple: for the team to show that it values everything he brings to the table.
"Just get the numbers straight, exactly where we want them".
In speaking to ESPN, Bell said, "I hope it doesn't come to that, but I would definitely consider it". "I'm not going out here getting the ball 400 times if I'm not getting what I feel I'm valued at". He was also highly impactful as a receiver out of the backfield, leading all running backs with a career-high 85 catches for 655 receiving yards and two touchdowns.
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.
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. That being said, it's unusual to hear this come out before the Steelers' first playoff game of the season.
The NFL has seen a spike in recent years of players being hit with the franchise tag multiple years in a row.
With the season winding down and free agency starting around three months from now, this issue has made its way back in the headlines.
Bell's one-year contract under the tag for 2017 pays him a little more than $12 million - more than any running back in the NFL.
"I don't necessarily care about the money aspect of it. I just want to be valued where I'm at", per ESPN. "Right now, I'm just kind of doing it because I love it. I'm in a position where I can do that, and I'm going to do it".