The Kansas City Chiefs signed free agent Le’Veon Bell, the team announced Thursday.
Bell will team up with rookie first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire to serve as the counterbalance to an explosive passing offense led by reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes.
Bell, 28, played only 17 games with the New York Jets before they released him Tuesday, ending a tumultuous relationship between the running back and head coach Adam Gase. The former All-Pro is expected to add some punch to a Kansas City running game that lost Super Bowl hero Damien Williams due to a COVID opt-out this offseason.
He rushed 19 times for 74 yards in only two games before his release this season in New York. His performance last season, when he rushed 245 times for 789 yards and three touchdowns and caught 66 passes for 461 yards and a touchdown, was below the standard he set his previous six seasons in Pittsburgh, as his yards per carry of 3.2 was the lowest of his career.
Some of that has to do with a porous offensive line, which was revamped this offseason to little effect. At least one scout who spoke to Yahoo Sports on the condition of anonymity says Bell has plenty left in the tank.
“He still has vision, hands, all those qualities,” the evaluator said. “Just not the athlete he was in 2016.”
Two areas where Bell figures to help the Chiefs are the screen game and in pass protection, where he puts his 6-foot-2, 225-pound frame to good use.
And Bell, it seems, will have an opportunity to get revenge on his former team soon. The Chiefs face the Jets on Nov. 1.
In 2019, Bell signed a four-year, $52 million deal with New York. He sat out the entire 2018 season due to a contract dispute with the Steelers.
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