This all started with a report on Tuesday morning from New York Daily News reporter Manish Mehta. Mehta was reporting that the New York Jets were interested in making a trade for former Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell.
The story Mehta was tweeting about connected the Kansas City Chiefs to a trade for Bell.
The Daily News has learned that Gang Green is amenable to dealing the perennial Pro Bowl running back for the right price before the 4 p.m. trade deadline. Although it’s unclear what that price tag has been during discussions, there are legitimate buyers. The Jets would unload a big salary as general manager Joe Douglas looks to reshape the roster.
But let’s be clear here: Mehta was not reporting the Chiefs were actually expressing interest in Bell. Instead he was expressing his opinion that the Chiefs “could use a dynamic running back.”
But it didn’t take long for someone else to make that report. Enter Connor Hughes, who covers the Jets for The Athletic. Hughes said that the Chiefs and Texans were “most interested” in Bell.
From my understanding, talking to sources, #Jets aren’t shopping LeVeon Bell as much as teams are calling them. They heard fire sale, and phoned Douglas to see price.— Connor Hughes (@Connor_J_Hughes) October 29, 2019
Is there a price? Yes. It’s high. #Chiefs & #Texans most interested. Chiefs have more to possibly get it done
Is there any fire underneath this smoke? It seems unlikely. After all... “most interested” could be translated into “two teams have called about Bell.”
The contract Bell signed with the Jets makes him inexpensive for the rest of the 2019 season — but not after that.
If the #Jets traded Bell the acquiring team would need about $1.84M in cap space to make the trade and would only pay about $1.34M. Bell's cap hit in 2020 would be $13.5M with $13M guaranteed. Cap hit in 2021 would be $11.5M of which $8M is guaranteed for injury only right now— Jason_OTC (@Jason_OTC) October 29, 2019
Would the Chiefs give up draft capital sign for a running back who will cost them north of $13 million in 2020 and $11.5 million in 2021? With all the other salary cap problems the team will need to solve in 2020 — including (but not limited to) the long-term contract they want to sign with quarterback Patrick Mahomes — it just doesn’t seem likely.
And as friend-of-the-site Terez Paylor of Yahoo! Sports noted, that’s not the only reason to doubt the Chiefs might make a deal for Bell.
In my opinion it’s very unlikely the Chiefs move on a RB today. Shady, Damien Williams and Darrel Williams are all experienced and know the offense. Also, they still like rookie Darwin Thompson a great deal. https://t.co/rclrcsQxe9— Terez A. Paylor (@TerezPaylor) October 29, 2019
Still... it’s trade deadline day in the NFL. We can always be surprised.