Le'Veon Bell Explains Why He Signed Chiefs Contract over Dolphins, Bills

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 2, 2021

Kansas City Chiefs running back Le'Veon Bell (26) runs off the field after defeating the Denver Broncos in 43-16 in an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct.. 25, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/Justin Edmonds)
Justin Edmonds/Associated Press

Contending for a championship was at the forefront of Le'Veon Bell's mind when he was contemplating his next move following his exit from the New York Jets.  

Bell ultimately signed with the Kansas City Chiefs. He explained Tuesday how he picked them over the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills even though Miami, in particular, likely would've given him a bigger role in the offense, per the Miami Herald's Adam H. Beasley:

"That night was kind of little hectic. The Dolphins were definitely in the mix, I was so torn between how much of a workload did I actually want vs. winning? At that time, [after my time] with the Jets, I was so focused on winning, I didn't really care about how my production would look. It got so frustrating losing.

"I had already missed three games earlier in the season. I [was] going to miss half the games this year. I want to go somewhere where I can still have my body and still help the team win. That's what separated the Dolphins and the Chiefs. I felt like if I went to the Dolphins, I would have done a little more. It's hard even trying to explain it. But it was real close between the Dolphins, Bills and Chiefs."

As long as Patrick Mahomes remains healthy, the passing game will always be the focal point of Kansas City's offense. Prior to Bell's arrival, 2020 first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire was proving to be a more than capable No. 1 option on the ground, too.

Due in part to those two factors, Bell hasn't factored into the Chiefs' attack much. He ran for 254 yards and two touchdowns while catching 13 passes for 99 yards over nine appearances. According to Pro Football Reference, he was on the field for more than half of the team's offensive snaps just once.

The Dolphins certainly could've used Bell. Their 105.5 rushing yards per game ranked 22nd in the NFL, and a knee injury to Myles Gaskin left them without their starting running back for six games.

In general, Miami exceeded expectations and nearly made the playoffs. Had the team claimed a wild-card spot, it likely would've had its hands full in the postseason sooner or later.

The three-time Pro Bowler presumably doesn't have any regrets since Kansas City will meet the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV on Sunday. The 28-year-old is one victory away from his first championship in the NFL.

Looking beyond this Sunday, the Chiefs' collective success—and Bell's willingness to play a limited role—could help him when the time comes to weigh his future this offseason.