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Le'Veon Bell Threatens Retirement Over Contract Debates

Le'Veon Bell without his helmet on.

PITTSBURGH, PA - JANUARY 14: Le'Veon Bell #26 of the Pittsburgh Steelers looks on against the Jacksonville Jaguars during the first half of the AFC Divisional Playoff game at Heinz Field on January 14, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Le'Veon Bell is on the franchise tag, but doesn't like it.

Pittsburgh Steelers star Le'Veon Bell leads the NFL in touches for a running back with over 400 during the 2017 season, with at least one more game to play.

Bell currently sits on the franchise tag after he and the Steelers could not come to a contract agreement before this season. The former Michigan State Spartan voiced his displeasure with the franchise tag often before signing it just before the regular season.

On Thursday, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported that Bell could prefer retirement to the franchise tag next season.

"It will eventually come down to me playing on the tag or not," Bell said. "They tag me again, it will be me [saying], 'OK, do I want to play on the tag or do I not want to play on the tag?' That's what it comes down to. If I was a free agent and they let me go, be a free agent, then yeah, I'm going to go explore free agency, test the market."

If Pittsburgh signs Bell to the franchise tag again, he will be paid around $14.5 for the season -- well above the league-high for a running back.

Although he threatened it, retirement isn't likely for the star running back. The Steelers are likely to make a convincing offer for Bell, and if not, will likely allow him to test free agency.

Would he retire rather than accepting the franchise tag?