According to one person close to him, Le'Veon Bell said he was affected by the business of football tainting its purity.

Bell had developed into one of the NFL's best players but was told his worth doesn't correlate with other great players.

Bell was told by the Pittsburgh Steelers in January that they planned to sign him to a long-term extension and put the franchise tag to rest. But the Steelers don't typically guarantee money beyond the first year of a deal, but try to honor the contracts of their homegrown players.

Bell said in January he would consider sitting out 2018 or retiring if the Steelers asked him to play under the franchise tag.