The Kansas City Chiefs are adding a weapon to an already-potent offense. Free-agent running back Le’Veon Bell has joined the Super Bowl champion Chiefs after being released by the New York Jets. What does this mean for promising rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City’s first-round pick in 2020?
The Kansas City Chiefs are an unimpressive 4-1
Patrick Mahomes hasn’t been overly sharp. The Kansas City Chiefs offense hasn’t clicked, yet the team is still 4-1. Like most teams, the Chiefs are striving to get better and they did by adding three-time Pro-Bowl running back Le’Veon Bell to the mix.
Bell was recently released by the New York Jets and had narrowed his choices to three teams – the Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, and Miami Dolphins. It was announced Thursday that Bell had agreed on a one-year deal with the Chiefs.
Kansas City has struggled, by Kansas City standards. Outside of a dominant Week 3 performance against the Baltimore Ravens, they’ve looked like an average team. They had to go to overtime with the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 2 and found themselves in a battle with a depleted New England Patriots team in Week 4. Kansas City suffered its first loss of the season last week, falling to the Las Vegas Raiders.
Le’Veon Bell hopes to get back on track
In five seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers, running back Le’Veon Bell made the Pro Bowl three times. After an impressive rookie season in 2013 in which Bell rushed for 860 yards and eight touchdowns, he made his first Pro Bowl in 2014. that season, he rushed for a career-high 1,361 yards and had eight rushing touchdowns. He also caught 83 passes.
Bell returned to the Pro Bowl in both 2016 and 2017 with 1,000-yard rushing seasons. In 2017, Bell led the league with 321 carries and also finished with a career-high 85 receptions. He missed the entire 2018 season when he held out during a contract dispute.
In 2019, Bell played for the New York Jets and found himself mired in obscurity. In 15 games, he rushed for 789 yards and three touchdowns. He continued to be a pass-catching threat out of the backfield with 66 catches and a touchdown reception. In 2020, Bell played in two games, rushing for 74 yards before being released by the Jets.
What happens to Clyde Edwards-Helaire now?
With Le’Veon Bell in town, what will happen to Kansas City Chiefs rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire? The Chiefs selected the 5-foot-7, 207-pound running back out of LSU with their first pick in the 2020 draft. When running back Damien Williams opted out of the season due to the coronavirus (COVID-19), Edwards-Helaire was given the starting job.
Edwards-Helaire rushed for 138 yards and a touchdown in the season opener. In the last four games, however, he hasn’t has more than 64 yards in any game. What does the signing of Bell mean for Edwards-Helaire? Clearly, his touches will go down, especially near the goal line, where he has struggled.
CBS Sports Fantasy Football editor Chris Towers explained Edward-Helaire’s outlook in fantasy terms. “Edwards-Helaire is likely to play better moving forward than he has so far, if only because he has yet to score on any of his 10 carries inside the 10-yard line,” Towers wrote. “It’s entirely possible that he loses those touches but doesn’t lose much Fantasy value because he becomes a more efficient player overall, while Bell gets enough work to be in the discussion for starting most weeks. That might limit Edwards-Helaire’s ultimate ceiling — those dreams of him being a top-five back might be in the past for good, now — but it wouldn’t make him irrelevant.”