Le’Veon Bell has been one of the best running backs in the league since he entered in 2014. Bell was originally drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers after playing college football for the Michigan State Spartans. At one point he was considered one of the best running backs in all the NFL. Fans selected him to be in the Pro-Bowl 3 times and named All-pro by analysis 2 times. However, Bell also had his fair share of problems on and off the field. When Bell was at the top of his game he was still on his rookie contract. Bell believed that he deserved to be paid more than his $4.12 million-a-year rookie contract. The Steelers wanted to wait till his contract was up to renegotiate the contract, but Bell did not want to wait. He decided that he was going to sit out the 2018 season until he received the money he believed he earned. One year later, Bell signed a deal to the New York Jets for a 4-year, $52.5 million deal; that amounts to approximately $13 million a year. Bell underperformed yet again for a Jets team that was struggling. Some experts question if this was his fault or his lineman’s fault. Either way, Bell’s production has declined. The Jets wanted to trade him away but did not receive any offers for Bell.
On October 14, 2020, the Jets and Bell decided to part ways. Just one day later, the defending Super Bowl champions Kansas City Chiefs made a move for Bell. The Chiefs have taken the league by storm ever since Patrick Mahomes was named the starting quarterback during the final game of the 2017 season against the Denver Broncos on December 31. The following year Mahomes was named the NFL’s Most Valuable Player. He led the team to a 12-4 record but the team fell short to the New England Patriots who won the Super Bowl that year. Last year, Mahomes led the Chiefs to another 12-4 regular season, but this time it was the Chiefs who came out on top at the Super Bowl. Mahomes has really turned the team around in the last few years and this is one of the main reasons Bell wanted to come to play for the Chiefs. However, it is not a given that he will earn a starting role right away or even in the foreseeable future. The production from rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire has been solid and the Chiefs really have no reason to bench him. However, Bell is another explosive player that one of the best offenses in all the NFL can utilize.
In Bell’s first game with the Chiefs, he racked up 9 carries for 36 yards against the Denver Broncos. In his second game, he played against his former team, New York Jets. In this game, he had 6 total carries for 7 yards. In this past weekend game against the Carolina Panthers, he had 4 carries for 8 yards. There are a few reasons why his production is decreased. The first reason is that he needs to learn the new offense and it might take him some time to get used to things. Also, Bell’s role was considered a split-back at best coming in so he will no longer see the touches of a starter as he did early in his career.
GU sophomore Caleb Sedmack, a Chiefs fan, believes that signing Bell was “a great signing” and believes that no matter what role he plays he will make an impact. Chandler Williams also mentioned how Bell called the Chiefs current starting running back, Edwards-Helaire. “Bell knew coming in that he was going to be the backup. Even though he was once one of the best, he now knows what his role is.” This goes to show that even Bell knows his role on his new team. While Bell may have a smaller role than he did early, he is still able to help the Chiefs in many ways.
Media by Paul Garrett.