In the ESPN story, LeVeon Bell says he just misses football and would like to figure out a way to stay in Pittsburgh until he retires.
I’ll give you a moment to contain your laughter.
The more likely truth is that he needs cash and wants some paychecks. Or, perhaps, a trade is in the works. Bell needs to sign that tag before a deal is allowed. And the NFL trade deadline is Oct. 30.
If the Steelers have found a suitable trade partner, that business angle has to be cleared up first. If (agent) Adisa Bakari deems that partner a realistic long-term destination for Bell after 2018, he may encourage Bell to sign the tag to facilitate a trade, even if Bell technically can’t sign an extension during the year.
This is just an opinion piece but the author makes a lot of good points about the timing, and seems convinced a trade is in the works since you can assume any bonds between Bell and the Steelers don't seem fixable. He also has his doubts Bell is sincere about coming back, and he also doesn't believe he's in proper shape to play right away.