Bell had been bidding to reset the running back market due in large part to his effectiveness in the passing game. The Pittsburgh Steelers star will play on the $14.5 million franchise tag, with Devonta Freeman of the Atlanta Falcons serving as the next highest-paid running back at an average of $8.25 million per year.
"As a player I definitely feel where he's coming from," Gurley told NFL Network. "I don't know exactly what he wants. But if he did what he did I'm pretty sure in his mind he did the right thing. I definitely stand behind him and definitely support him. I wanted him to get that long-term deal but unfortunately it didn't work out. He's playing on the tag for the second time, which is not bad at all, but you know you just want that security.
"It's definitely a sad situation for a guy to be a top-three back since he's came into the league and put in the work and can't even get the money that he deserves. Definitely a sad situation."
Bell was a first-team All-Pro selection in 2017, when he led the NFL in regular-season carries with 321 while gaining 1,291 rushing yards. He also had 85 receptions for 655 yards.
The 10th overall pick of the 2015 NFL Draft, Gurley has one year remaining on his rookie contract -- plus a fifth-year option that the team has already exercised. He will earn just over $2.3 million in 2018 before jumping to $9.6 million the following year, per Spotrac.
Gurley is coming off a monstrous season in 2017 in which he led Los Angeles to the NFC West title. He became the first Rams player to win the AP Offensive Player of the Year award since Marshall Faulk in 2001.
The former University of Georgia product led the NFL in touchdowns (19), points scored among non-kickers (114) and scrimmage yards (2,093) in addition to finishing second in rushing yards (1,305). He also topped the league's running backs in receiving yards with 788 and his average of 6.1 yards per touch was the best in the NFL.