Le’Veon Bell is making it known that he has no intention of playing the 2017 season under the franchise tag.
Unless, you know, he’s not.
It’s tough to say, given that the comments came on April Fools’ Day, but the Pittsburgh Steelers‘ star running back at least put the idea out there in the form of a tweet Saturday.
Players are understandably hesitant to play under the franchise tag due to the lack of long-term security, and an extension will almost certainly remain a priority for both player and team leading up to the July 15 negotiation deadline.
Even if he’s semi-serious about sitting out at this early stage, the would-be threat can likely be considered little more than a negotiation tactic.
A franchise-tag number in excess of $12 million for one season, which at least tentatively makes him the NFL’s highest-paid running back by a wide margin, would be incredibly tough to pass up.
Bell, a truly elite playmaker when he’s on the field, will be angling for a multi-year deal that sees him maintain that spot atop the positional salary rankings league-wide.
Despite only suiting up for 12 games last season, the 25-year-old racked up an impressive 1,268 rushing yards, 616 receiving yards, and nine total touchdowns.
Copyright © 2017 Score Media Ventures Inc. All rights reserved. Certain content reproduced under license.