BOSTON (CBS) — Le’Veon Bell will not be joining the Patriots.
The free-agent running back will instead be signing with the defending Super Bowl champions in Kansas City, according to NFL Network.
While Twitter was sleeping …
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 15, 2020
Bell, 28, was released by the Jets this week after a short stint that didn’t turn out to be what either he or the organization envisioned when he signed his big money deal in the spring of 2019. General manager Mike Maccagnan was fired months after making that signing, and new head coach Adam Gase reportedly was not enthralled with Bell.
The running back — who skipped the entire 2018 season while holding out, passing up franchise tag money from Pittsburgh in the process — rushed for 789 yards and three toucdhowns on 245 carries for a 3.2-yard average in 2019, while catching 66 passes for 461 yards and one score. His 1,250 yards from scrimmage led the Jets, but they were also the fewest he ever posted in a full season in his career.
This season, a hamstring issue led Bell to missing time. He was given 19 carries for 74 yards, and he caught three passes for 39 yards.
The Jets went 7-14 after acquiring Bell, which likely exacerbated any issues that might have existed in New Jersey.
Various reports on Thursday had Bell contemplating between the Chiefs, Bills, Dolphins, and Patriots. One report said the Patriots were trying to “thwart” the Dolphins’ effort to sign Bell, but it was the Chiefs who ultimately won the race.
With Damien Williams opting out of the season due to COVID-19 concerns, the bulk of the Chiefs’ workload in the backfield has gone to rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who has rushed for 344 yards and a touchdown on 81 carries while also catching 17 passes for 169 yards. Quarterback Patrick Mahomes ranks second on the Chiefs in rushing yards with 129 yards, followed by wide receiver Tyreek Hill (with 49), indicating the Chiefs could use the boost of Bell in the backfield.