For many players who are now called former KC Chiefs, the last month has been filled with plenty of action. Some players faced an uncertain future only to re-sign with the Chiefs for yet another season. Others have found new homes somewhere in the U.S,., which means calls to moving companies, finding new places to live, figuring out school systems, and meeting new teammates.
However, there are still some former Chiefs who are watching and waiting, hoping that an ever-slowing free agent period will result in a phone call from a rep or agent with good news of a team’s interest. We’ve seen linebacker Damien Wilson get his first free agent visit this week with the Jacksonville Jaguars, and defensive end Tanoh Kpassagnon finally found a home with the New Orleans Saints in recent days as well.
Some players who are still available are more surprising than others, including three that have us scratching our heads as to why they are still out there.
Yes, we know that Le’Veon Bell is not the same back who was arguably considered the best in the NFL back with the Pittsburgh Steelers. Yes, we also know that Bell’s acclaimed signing with the Chiefs was much ado about nothing. No, we don’t believe this means that Bell’s days as a coveted free agent are finished.
Even in limited duty, it was clear that Bell still possessed a blend of incredible vision and impressive athleticism to make an impact on the field. Somehow the Chiefs never gave him a consistent platform to show what he can do—especially down the stretch when the team instead went to Darrel Williams as a lead back—but another team will look at his whole body of work and realize he’s got something left to contribute.
Let’s be honest about the state of the Chiefs offensive line last year. It was going to be difficult for any running back to generate much there at all, and Bell joined the team when things were already beginning to fall apart. Still he managed to average 4.0 yards/carry and catch 13 of 17 targets when called upon for the Chiefs. It wasn’t much but he wasn’t given much.
In a month where Carlos Hyde, who is two-years older, was just given a two-year deal and Taiwan Jones already has a team, it feels weird that Bell is still on the outside looking in. He can still be a productive part of someone’s backfield in 2021 and beyond.