Why would an offense like the Chiefs need to bolster an RB room with Super Bowl MVP Damien Williams by drafting a running back in the first round? That was a big question in the spring and summer. When Williams made the surprising decision to opt out of the 2020 season, the selection of LSU runner Clyde Edwards-Helaire looked even smarter. The rookie stepped right into the starting role, and even without a preseason, he churned his way to 138 yards on 25 carries in his first NFL game.
A few weeks later, Chiefs Kingdom was asking a new question: Why would an offense like the Chiefs need to bolster an RB room with star first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire by signing an outspoken (and probably very pricey) running back who just got cut by the Jets?
It didn’t even seem fair, but there we were. Upon his release from the New York Jets, 28-year-old Le’Veon Bell entered the free agent pool and was being heavily recruited by at least one big-name Chiefs player. We don’t know all the circumstances surrounding Bell’s free agent tour, but the Chiefs ultimately won out against the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins, if not more teams that could have been in the mix.
It was the perfect marriage, really. Bell has never won a championship, he didn’t have to step in and be RB1 on Day 1, and he got to play with Patrick Mahomes. What more could a guy ask for?
The signing looks even more shrewd this week, after a high ankle sprain cut short Edwards-Helaire’s regular season. There’s a chance the Chiefs get their nimble rookie back in January, but Bell gives the Chiefs a proven veteran weapon next to Mahomes. That could prove to be especially valuable during games in which the Chiefs number-one priority could be to munch clock, move chains, and get out healthy.
The former Michigan State Spartan plays at his best in the cold, having won the AFC Offensive Player of the Month in December 2016 and December 2017. When the season is long over and we are all telling our grandchildren about the the 2020 Kansas City Chiefs, Le’Veon Bell may end up being a very big part of the story.