The Facts: NFL teams can begin placing franchise tags on their most valuable free agents Tuesday through the March 6 deadline, so could Bell get tagged? As ESPN.com's Jeremy Fowler notes, Bell complicated his franchise tag situation by threatening to sit out the year or retire if tagged for a second straight season. But the Steelers, as currently constructed, would be crazy to let Bell hit free agency.
Diehards Line: Fowler notes their offense is largely built around Bell during a crucial Super Bowl window. A projected tag of $14.5 million allows the team to call his bluff. Here's the big "if": Bell said both sides want to reach a deal before having to make a decision on a tag, which means both sides are on the clock for February. So, if those negotiations stall, the tag must be applied. But neither side wants that.