The Kansas City Chiefs are hoping to land a rock-solid running back after this season. The team cut Kareem Hunt for lying after an assault on a young woman earlier in the year. Hunt was a stud and pivotal in the Chiefs offensive success, so there is a need for another top-tier back.
Team running backs Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West are not the long-term answer for the position. As for this season, the team is poised to make a championship run to the Super Bowl after a 48-year drought.
The Chiefs are looking for a running back that can take over a game and former Pittsburgh Steeler All-Pro back Le’Veon Bell is looking for a team he can lay his head and make his bed. Bell is a one of a kind back who ranked the number one in NFL stats at the start of the 2018 season. The Chiefs have an opening to get him after Bell refused to report this season after he was franchise tagged exclusively by the Steelers.
A Lack Of Loyalty And Trust
Why? Because he felt underappreciated, that the Steelers were not interested in meeting the terms of his contract proposal. To be clear, Bell is seeking $17 million annually to secure him for the rest of his NFL career and beyond.
The Steelers offer to RB Le’Veon Bell was five years, $70 million. The fully guaranteed part was his signing bonus of just over $10 million. He would’ve made $33 million over the first two years in a guaranteed rolling structure. $45 million over the first three years.
The Steelers seem to make a very generous offer, but the team will not guarantee the entire contract after the first year. Does this holdout strategy make sense? Well, Bell thinks so and maybe another NFL team.
Remember Bell chose to pass up a $14.5 million guaranteed contract to prove his point and play elsewhere. It’s a gutsy move for a 26-year old running back who hadn’t played in over a year. But Bell’s numbers place him front forward during his four years with the Steelers.
Would The Chiefs Offense Be Unstoppable With Le’Veon Bell?
The Kansas City Chiefs offense is already at it’s highest peak this season at 11-3 but they would be hard to be reckoned with if Leveon Bell suited up in a Chiefs uniform in 2019 and here’s why. First off Bell would benefit immensely in head coach Andy Reid‘s offensive scheme of things.
For example, Reid would utilize Bell’s exceptional ability to create mismatches out of the backfield. Secondly, Bell can touch the ball over twenty-five times a game which would add another significant dimension to an already loaded Chiefs offense.
Bell’s numbers increased after his rookie season with the Steelers, with 2017 being his most productive year with 321 rushes for 1,291 yards. His total yards equaled 1,229 touches for 5,336 yards for 35 touchdowns.
In Pursuit Of Consistent Contention In The AFC
To mention QB Patrick Mahomes, TE Travis Kelce, RB Le’Veon Bell, WR Tyreek Hill, WR Sammy Watkins and WR Chris Conley in the same breath is scary and would make any NFL defensive coordinator think twice. One being Mahomes having the option to check down in his progressions to make a big play with designed matchups.
The bottom line is a defense could not account for Reid’s play calling even with cover two or man coverage. Opportunities will be there because Mahomes would have a particular check-down option, with Bell being matched up with a linebacker or defensive end. Bell is also one of the quickest, most reliable, and elusive running backs in the game. He’s proven it time and time again by taking his game to another level.
Factor in Bell’s overall durability and sustainability and the Chiefs stand to gain a much-needed edge over AFC division rivals Denver Broncos and LA Chargers.
Is A Deal Imminent Or Workable For The Chiefs In 2019?
The answer is yes, but not without taking a calculated risk. Can the Chiefs make Bell an offer he cannot refuse? Significant dollar figures always speak louder than words, so here’s the scoop according to NFL salary cap expert Joel Corry. The Chiefs will have a $387,976 salary cap charge in 2019 for Kareem Hunt (2019 and 2020 signing bonus proration).
Hunt’s base salary in 2018 was $575,250, and the Chiefs have already paid him for all but four games. That means they won’t have to pay him the remaining $135,353 that goes against the salary cap.
All in all, the Chiefs are projected to have between $42 million to $44.4 to address free agency depending on the 2019 NFL estimates of $187 million to $190 million, so a deal is workable if and when the Chiefs sign twenty-four other free agents in 2019.
Chiefs general manager Brett Veach and head coach Andy Reid will have to make some decisions whether adding to their roster via the draft and or free agency next year.
There are some other talented running backs in the league (and maybe the 2019 draft), but all-purpose RB Leveon Bell seems logical to build on a foundation for the Chiefs to win a championship.