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Report: Chiefs could be in the mix to acquire Le’Veon Bell

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The former Pittsburgh Steelers running back refused to play on the franchise tag in 2018, and is now up for grabs.

Divisional Round - Jacksonville Jaguars v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It started innocently enough. CBS Sports NFL reporter Jason LaCanfora tweeted about a story he had just published about a trend among NFL teams to trade teams on the back ends of their rookie deals.

But there was an unexpected — and surprising — paragraph in LaCanfora’s story.

Chiefs looking to add... offense

I continue to hear the Chiefs are, believe it or not, trying to do something big for an offensive skill player. Yes, despite all of the talent they have already amassed on that side of the ball, and despite their obvious issues on defense, they are sniffing around on trade options and some teams I spoke to wouldn’t be shocked if they got in on [former Pittsburgh Steelers running back] Le’Veon Bell. Bottom line is don’t be shocked if these guys come away with a big-time receiver or running back.

Is such a thing even possible? While no one would be surprised if the Kansas City Chiefs acquired depth or developmental offensive players in the draft or free agency, the idea that the Chiefs would be considering a move to acquire such a big-name offensive player in free agency seems incredible.

Nonetheless, that’s what LaCanfora is saying here. And the man has a decent track record on this kind of thing.

That said, let’s precisely analyze what he’s saying. He says the Chiefs are “sniffing around” on trade options. That could mean anything from a phone call or two to serious negotiation. Furthermore, LaCanfora isn’t saying Chiefs sources are telling him the team might make a move for Bell. He’s saying other teams “wouldn’t be shocked” to see the Chiefs do that.

And let’s also note that LaCanfora — while specifically naming Bell — covers his bets in the last sentence by referring to “a big-time receiver or running back.“

LaCanfora isn’t likely to be making this up. He has undoubtedly been given this information. But that doesn’t mean his sources have it right. Other teams — and agents — sometimes have reasons of their own to plant these kinds of stories whenever most of the NFL’s decision makers are clustered together in one place — as they are this week for the NFL Combine.

So it’s way too early to start shopping for a Le’Veon Bell jersey in red and gold. But it’s still an intriguing report and a situation that bears watching.