It’s been a long, long offseason for several “name” free agents around the National Football League, including former K.C. Chiefs running back Le’Veon Bell. Perhaps his time waiting for a new home for the 2021 season is coming his way, however, after visiting with the Baltimore Ravens on Monday.
Ravens beat writer Jamison Hensley posted details for the team’s free agent workouts and invites on Monday and it included a few familiar names from around the league at the running back position. Bell was listed alongside Devonta Freeman and Elijah Holyfield. The team also worked out a couple other players.
It’s important to note that a couple factors could be in play here in terms of any delay on the part of teams signing Bell. It’s quite possible that Bell hasn’t wanted to sign up until the present as a veteran player disinterested in suiting up for the rigors of the preseason. He’s certainly made enough money in his NFL career with nearly $45 million to his name in career earnings on the field alone.
Le’Veon Bell is hoping a visit with the Ravens turns into an opportunity.
It’s also true that Bell is a shell of the player he used to be when he was arguably the most effective running back in the game. His patient running style put the Steelers offense over the top of most opponents, and he was a thorn in the side of Chiefs Kingdom for a number of years specifically.
Last season, however, Bell was nothing more than a forgettable backup. In fact, Bell was passed over for Darrel Williams in the postseason when it mattered most and Clyde Edwards-Helaire was sidelined with injury. Bell totaled only 63 carries for 254 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns in limited duty in 9 games after he was signed following his release from the New York Jets.
At this point, teams are only looking to Bell for some security in the backfield. It’s also notable that veteran contracts are no longer guaranteed if signed after Week 1, so a team like the Ravens might be doing their homework for that sort of security to sign following the team’s opening game against the Las Vegas Raiders on Monday Night Football.
In 88 career regular season games, Bell has 1,556 carries for 6,453 rushing yards and 40 touchdowns. He has another 3,259 receiving yard and 8 scores through the air.