While all of Chiefs Twitter constantly checked for the social platform to come back online, ESPN’s Adam Schefter announced on Instagram that the Le’Veon Bell had agreed to terms with the reigning world champions. The last 48 hours had been abuzz with optimism and rumors of the Chiefs’ interest in the running back, and it finally came to fruition on Thursday night.
Bell’s production has dropped off since he earned a massive contract from the New York Jets in 2019. His short-lived stint saw him play only 17 games before Adam Gase and company moved on. We last saw Bell at full strength in 2017 (he sat out the 2018 season over a contract dispute) and came close to 2,000 scrimmage yards (1,946) on four hundred touches. Part of his success is his ability as a pass-catcher.
He may not be the same guy he was a few years ago, but Le'Veon Bell is still a valuable, dynamic addition to the Chiefs' arsenal. Soft hands, ability to track the ball in the air. Patrick Mahomes will always have plus pass catcher traits in the backfield with him and CEH. pic.twitter.com/XCpCwjQFKG— Kent Swanson (@kent_swanson) October 15, 2020
Bell caught 85 passes his final season in Pittsburgh and 66 last season.
He is a natural catcher who can track the football as good as any wide receiver. You can ask him to run a variety of routes both out of the backfield and in the slot, and he’ll execute.
This clip of him catching a wheel route is from this season — and one of the few highlights of the two games he’s appeared in this year. He still has the ability, and the Chiefs have guaranteed they can have a dynamic running back on the field on any given play between Bell and rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
Not much tread has worn off the tires since that big season, and Bell can step into a complementary role in Kansas City this year before looking to earn a final sizable payday in 2021. He can do it without beating up his body all that much, as he should play a secondary role to Edwards-Helaire. This is a great low-risk move that helps them insulate themselves in case of any injury to their rookie running back and helps keep him fresh for the playoff stretch.
If you liked the LeSean McCoy move last year, you should love adding Bell. He has more left in the tank and should be able to sustain success through the season.