The Pittsburgh Steelers are expected to place a franchise tag on star running back Le'Veon Bell for the second consecutive season in 2018, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reports.
The report comes days after Bell said he would consider sitting out the upcoming campaign, or even retiring, if the Steelers placed a franchise tag on him again.
"The Steelers do not believe it. They do not expect Le'Veon Bell to retire or sit out the season, but this is going to be a thing, and my understanding is the Steelers are expected to franchise tag Le'Veon Bell for a second straight season," Rapoport said on NFL GameDay on Sunday.
Bell has been vocal in his desire to be valued appropriately, so a franchise tag could very well create some tension between the player and his team. The star running back would receive a projected salary of about $14.5 million under a franchise tag next season, a raise from the $12.1 million he received this term.
"Just get the numbers straight, exactly where we want them. I'm not going to settle for anything," Bell told Jeremy Fowler of ESPN on Thursday. "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."
In his fifth professional season, Bell set a career high in both carries (321) and rushing touchdowns (nine) while posting the second-highest total in rushing yards of his career (1,291).