Le'Veon Bell's master plan is in full motion and isn't going away

From ESPN - January 12, 2018

PITTSBURGH -- Bell crazy.

That was the response from Steelers backup running back Stevan Ridley when Le'Veon Bell recounted his summer, when he turned down a mega-deal from the Steelers to play on the franchise tag. Bell explained that his plan was in full motion.

"With what I can bring to the table and what I look forward to, I wasnt going to settle for anything less than what I think Im worth," Bell told ESPN as part of an interview that revealed he's considering sitting out 2018 or retiring if franchise tagged for the second consecutive year.

These words are jarring against the backdrop of the Steelers' potential Super Bowl run, which begins in earnest against Jacksonville in Sunday's AFC divisional round. But this is Bell's reality: He's an honest speaker who has grandiose ideas about his football career that he plans to crystallize with conviction.

The money will talk this summer -- turning down a second franchise tag of $14-plus-million is hard to believe until it's a reality -- but Bell is a different dude.

He knows he's the game's most productive rusher and a viable No. 2 receiver, and he wo not be dissuaded from that point. He's comfortable delivering his message now because, for one, he's ready to catalyze a playoff push. He mentioned the words "Super Bowl" several times in the interview. "That's the only thing (left) I wanted to do," he said. He could touch the ball 30 or more times against the Jaguars.

Bell makes clear market precedent for running backs is more important to him than making a few extra million, which Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott will love to hear.


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