Chiefs sign RB Le’Veon Bell to bolster backfield depth

Le'Veon Bell
Posted at 5:43 PM, Oct 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-15 21:28:40-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs have reportedly added depth to their backfield Wednesday signing running back Le’Veon Bell.

ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter reported that Bell had agreed to a one-year deal with the reigning Super Bowl champions Thursday to Facebook.

"Bell wanted to win a Super Bowl and believes Kansas City is the place to go try to do it," Schefter said in reporting the expected signing.

The Chiefs and Bell later confirmed the new on Twitter.

Bell, 28, who was released Tuesday by the New York Jets, joins a Chiefs backfield led by rookie standout Clyde Edwards-Helaire. The Jets, by the way, are slated to play the Chiefs on Nov. 1 at Arrowhead Stadium.

He received a warm welcome from his new teammates, including star quarterback Patrick Mahomes, on Twitter.

Bell won't be available immediately for the Chiefs.

It's unlikely, given the complexity of coach Andy Reid's offense, that he would be able to get up to speed under normal circumstances before Kansas City's next game on Monday at the Buffalo Bulls.

But the NFL COVID-19 protocol will require Bell to test negative for the virus several days in a row before he can enter the team facility and begin working out with the Chiefs, according to Adam Teicher of ESPN.

Bell sat out the 2018 season in a contract dispute with the Pittsburgh Steelers before signing a four-year, $52.5 million deal with the Jets ahead of the 2019 season.

He only played in 17 games during with New York before the team released him amid clashes with coach Adam Gase.

Bell finished his career in New York with 264 carries for 863 yards and three touchdowns. He also added 69 receptions for 500 yards and a touchdown.

Terminating Bell's contract leaves the Jets with more than $15 million in dead cap space this season and another $4 million in 2021, according to Over the Cap.

New York wound up paying Bell, who made nearly $28 million on the now scrapped deal, more than $25,000 per yard gained from scrimmage in his one-plus season.

Prior to joining the Jets, Bell played five seasons for the Pittsburgh Steelers, which included three Pro Bowl seasons and two first-team All-Pro seasons.

He averaged nearly 1,600 yards and more than eight touchdowns per season despite missing 18 games during his time in Pittsburgh.

Edwards-Helaire, a first-round pick last spring from LSU, has struggled in goal-to-go and short-yardage situations as a rookie, though blocking also has been an issue at times.

Still, Kansas City lacks proven depth behind Edwards-Helaire with Darrel Williams, Darwin Thompson and DeAndre Washington filling out the position group.