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Chiefs to sign running back Le’Veon Bell on a one-year deal

With Twitter down, the news came through on Instagram on Thursday evening.

Pittsburgh Steelers v Cleveland Browns

The Kansas Chiefs are expected to sign free-agent running back Le’Veon Bell on a one-year deal, as first reported by ESPN’s Adam Schefter and later made official by the team.

Bell, 28, first entered the NFL as a second-round pick made by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the 2013 NFL Draft. Bell spent 2013-17 with the Steelers before he sat out the 2018 season after the Steelers used the franchise tag on him for a second straight year. Bell became a free agent when the Steelers opted to not tag him again the following year.

As a free agent in 2019, Bell signed a four-year, $52.5 million contract with the New York Jets. In 15 games for the Jets in 2019, Bell rushed 245 times for 789 yards and caught 66 passes for 461 yards, his lowest yardage output since playing only six games in 2015 due to suspension and injury.

In 2020, Bell injured his hamstring in Week 1 and spent three weeks on injured reserve, only to compile 14 touches in his return game Week 5 against the Arizona Cardinals. Throughout 17 games for the Jets, Bell hardly saw eye to eye with New York head coach Adam Gase, and the organization released him on Tuesday.

Bell has finished for more than 1,000 rushing yards three times (and more than 1,200 scrimmage yards five times) during his seven NFL seasons. He is a three-time Pro Bowler (and three-time All-Pro) who has totaled 9,359 scrimmage yards and 46 combined touchdowns in his career.

Reports on Tuesday suggested Bell could be a Chief as early as that night, but some posturing by the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins delayed that decision. In the end, Bell likely chose what he believed was his best opportunity to win — with Kansas City.

Like the Chiefs’ current starter, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Bell offers a dual-threat out of the backfield — and he is likely to step in immediately as the Chiefs’ change-of-pace back behind Edwards-Helaire. Darrel Williams, Darwin Thompson and DeAndre Washington remain on the Chiefs’ roster.

Defensive tackle Chris Jones and Bell are good friends off the field — and they teased that Bell would become a Chief back in March of 2019. That is now a reality.

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