This reeks of saving face.
The Steelers and Le'Veon Bell seem destined for another power struggle over his contract, and this one could cost him more than just training camp. Earlier on Thursday, Bell said he might even consider retiring this offseason.
He later redirected the focus on Twitter today.
I’m trying to win a super bowl...I can care less about what happens after this season...my biggest thing I’m focused on is this team I’m on right now, playing for/with my brothers, & bringing back a 7th ring! what happens next year is irrelevant to my goals— Le'Veon Bell (@L_Bell26) January 11, 2018
Bell took to Twitter after his earlier comments, saying he's only concerned with winning a Super Bowl this season, and the rest is all just noise. That makes sense, and it looks better from a public relations standpoint.
This isn't the first time Bell has flirted with retirement in the face of the franchise tag. Do I believe he'd actually go through with it? I'm not so sure, but stranger things have happened in the National Football League.
Le'Veon Bell says he's prepared to sit out a season, or even retire, if franchise tagged for the second consecutive year. https://t.co/4QkKHm5Hme— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 11, 2018
Bell could really cash in on the open market. What would the Browns pay to rob their rival of some instant offense? He could really make a huge difference in Cleveland, and the Browns have enough cap space to overpay him ludicrously without a care in the world.
When you look at it that way, threatening retirement to dodge the tag seems brilliant.