Le’Veon Bell’s free agency did not last long. The three-time Pro Bowler is reportedly headed to Kansas City, where he’ll slide into a potent Chiefs backfield alongside Rookie of the Year hopeful Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Bell, who was ousted by the Jets Tuesday night after a tumultuous stint in the Big Apple, also considered offers from the Bills and Dolphins. News of Bell’s signing was confirmed by ESPN’s Adam Schefter as well as Chiefs beat reporter Adam Teicher.
A second-round pick out of Michigan State in 2013, the Ohio native first achieved stardom with the Pittsburgh Steelers, establishing himself as one of the league’s premier running backs with 1,000-yard seasons in 2014, 2016 and 2017. The good times didn’t last though with Bell refusing to play under the franchise tag in 2018, staging a year-long holdout that would effectively end his Pittsburgh tenure. Bell resurfaced with the Jets the following year, but was largely ineffective, averaging a career-worst 3.2 yards per carry (second-lowest among qualified ball-carriers in 2019) behind one of the league’s worst offensive lines.
It didn’t take long for Bell to wear out his welcome in East Rutherford, griping about his workload while becoming increasingly flagrant in his defiance of head coach Adam Gase. After struggling to drum up trade interest, the Jets finally pulled the plug Tuesday night. The disgruntled 28-year-old seemed appreciative of his newfound freedom, alluding to his release by tweeting a prayer emoji.
Seemingly in the autumn of his career, it’s debatable how much the declining Bell has to offer at this late juncture in his NFL journey, though his impressive track record makes him a worthy flyer for the Chiefs, who are seeking a second straight Super Bowl appearance. Known for his patient running style, Bell remains an effective pass-catcher and should contribute to a strong Chiefs supporting cast. Once he gets up to speed, Bell should serve in tandem with Edwards-Helaire, the NFL’s leading rusher among rookies. Bell will face his former team when Kansas City hosts the Jets at Arrowhead in Week 8.