Le'Veon Bell Signs Reported 1-Year Chiefs Contract After Jets Release

Jenna CiccotelliContributor IIIOctober 15, 2020

New York Jets running back Le'Veon Bell runs the ball during the first half of an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Seth Wenig/Associated Press

Running back Le'Veon Bell signed with the Kansas City Chiefs on Thursday after being released by the New York Jets earlier in the week, the team announced.

Bell confirmed the news on Twitter:

Kansas City did not release terms of the pact, though ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Bell is expected to sign a one-year deal. 

Schefter noted Bell wants to win a Super Bowl and believes the reigning champs give him the best opportunity to do so.

The three-time Pro Bowler is in his seventh season in the league, and Kansas City marks his third team after his career began with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2013. After missing the 2018 season because of a contract dispute, he signed a four-year, $52.5 million contract with the Jets in March 2019.

Bell's 19 months with the Jets were rocky at best. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported in May 2019 that head coach Adam Gase liked Bell on the field but "didn't love the money." 

Across 17 games with the Jets, Bell had 264 carries for 863 yards and three touchdowns, and he caught 69 passes for 500 yards and a touchdown. He got off to a slow start in 2020, as he missed three games with a hamstring injury and had only 74 yards on 19 carries in the two games he did play.

When Bell returned in Week 5, he played only 67 percent of the offensive snaps. In 2019, he appeared for more than 80 percent of the team's snaps in 11 games and over 90 percent five times.

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In the days leading up to Bell's Tuesday release, Gase was outspoken about the running back's social media activity. The Michigan State product liked multiple tweets about his lack of usage, and he had expressed his frustration throughout the season.

Jets general manager Joe Douglas wrote in a statement that the two sides explored the possibility of a trade, but they could not reach an agreement with another team before deciding to release him.

The Chiefs spent their first-round pick this year on running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who rumbled for 138 rushing yards in his debut. However, he has yet to top 64 yards in each of his other four games, and Kansas City lacks much reliable depth behind him.

Expect Bell to immediately slide in as a complement to Edwards-Helaire, particularly as a pass-catching option on third downs.