The exclusive designation means that Bell is only permitted to negotiate with the Steelers.
The tag for Bell is worth $14.544 million for the 2018 season. The Steelers and Bell have until July 16 to agree to a multiyear contract or he will have to play the season on the franchise tag.
The Steelers increased last year's long-term contract offer, but Bell adjusted his contractual floor to $14.5 million per year to align with his tag salary. He won't play for a contract that averages less annually, he said.
"We're not coming to a number we both agree on -- they are too low, or I guess they feel I'm too high," Bell told ESPN on Monday. "I'm playing for strictly my value to the team. That's what I'm asking. I don't think I should settle for anything less than what I'm valued at."
Bell said he wasn't bluffing when he told ESPN in January that he'll contemplate retirement if asked to play on the tag another year. All options are on the table for Bell, who says he doesn't plan to sign a tag anytime soon and would likely skip training camp once again.
"I just have to decide if I'm going to play when the time comes," Bell told ESPN.
That decision will be more impactful if he finds himself without a deal in late July. Bell said he may just stand pat until Week 10, at which point league rules require him to sign the tag in order to play this season.
"It'd definitely be hard to pass up," Bell told ESPN of the $14.5 million salary.
NFL Network first reported that the Steelers had officially used the tag on Bell on Tuesday.