Le’Veon Bell joins Kansas City Chiefs after New York Jets released running back

Former New York Jets running back Le’Veon Bell has signed for the Kansas City Chiefs as a free agent on a one-year deal.

Both Bell and the Chiefs confirmed the news with tweets about an hour after reports of the deal first broke.

“Kansas City, #ChiefsKingdom, thank you for the opportunity let’s go!” Bell tweeted.

“Welcome to #ChiefsKingdom, @LeVeonBell!” the Super Bowl champions tweeted shortly afterward.

Earlier in the day, ESPN reported that Bell, released by the New York Jets on Tuesday, planned to sign with the Chiefs, Buffalo Bills or Miami Dolphins.

The Jets play each of those teams over the next three weeks (at Miami on Sunday, followed by a home game against the Bills on October 25 and a trip to Kansas City on November 1).

Bell, 28, will be unavailable for the Chiefs’ Monday game at Buffalo as he has to go through five days of Covid-19 testing, according to ESPN.

The high-octane Chiefs (4-1) are averaging 119.4 rushing yards per game, which is 13th best in the NFL. They are led in the backfield by rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who tops the team in carries (81) and rushing yards (344).

Bell carried 13 times for 60 yards in the Jets’ 30-10 loss to the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday after missing the previous three games with a hamstring injury. In two games this season, the three-time Pro Bowl selection has 74 yards on 19 carries and three receptions for 39 yards.

Last season, Bell was a disappointment with a career-low average of 3.2 yards per carry while rushing for 789 yards and three touchdowns. He also caught 66 passes for 461 yards and one score.

Bell topped 1,200 rushing yards three times in five seasons with the Pittsburgh Steelers from 2013-17 while twice earning first-team All-Pro honours. He missed the entire 2018 campaign in a salary dispute after refusing to sign a $14.5m franchise tag.

He then signed a four-year, $52.5m deal as a free agent with the Jets in March 2019. New York is reportedly still on the hook for the remaining $6m on Bell’s base pay for this season. ESPN reported that some of that could be offset by the contract he signs with a new team.

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