During Tuesday night’s rescheduled Buffalo-Tennessee game, the New York Jets announced they were running a two-time All-Pro behind Lewden Bell. The alleged 0-5 Jets tried to find a team willing to trade for Bell, but general manager Joe Douglas found apparently insufficient interest. Instead of putting Bell on the roster, New York chose to accept a dead-money cap of more than 19 19 million by cutting it out. Despite being short, Bell’s time in New York was profitable for him: in 17 games played as a jet, Bell earned 1.7 times more than he earned during his six years and played 62 games as a Pittsburgh Steeler.
On Thursday night, Bell landed on his feet, entering the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs from one of the NFL’s worst teams. According to ESPN’s Adam Schaefter, Belle signed a one-year deal with the team. (Terms not disclosed.)
It’s a fantastic move for Kansas City. The Chiefs spent only a first-round draft peak (32nd overall) on RB Clyde Edwards-Hlair in April. It’s true that Kansas City haven’t been able to make a good rush into football this year: they are 27th in the EPA, which has so far added to the expected points per running game. But Bell comes straight into the team that ranks Dead last. What do you hope to get the main with the Bell signature?
Successfully running a football run in the NFL has more to do with planning and line play than a player carrying football. And this season has given us plenty of evidence that, in today’s NFL, the running backs are mostly interchangeable. Even the highest-earning players in the position have not offered much more in the direction of production this year than their backups.
Christian McFrey, the highest paid player in the NFL, went down in the ankle in Week 2. In his absence, the Carolina Panthers trip turned to Mike Davis, the former fourth-round draft pick of his fourth NFL team. career 49 Careers averaged 28.4 combined rush and regular yards per game in regular-season games. Yet the previous Winless Panthers have won three straight games since Davis took the lead back. During the winning streak, Davis hit three game touchdowns and averaged 117 yards per gamemag – beating the first-round pickpacker’s career average of 113 yards.
A similar story last weekend in Seattle. In Minnesota’s Week 5 game against the Senatal Seahawks, the Vikings were losing the star in the third quarter due to a groin injury behind Dalvin Cook. Cook’s backup, Alexander Mattison, came on and rushed 112 yards on 20 career highs.
Before the start of the season, the Jacksonville Jaguars severed ties with first-round pick Leonard Fornet, and opted to move out of Illinois State to Jemki Robinson instead. Jacksonville have won just one of the season, while Robbins has provided the team with three touchdowns per game and 103.2 all-purpose yards – an average eclipse of 101.1 yards fornet while with the Jaguars.
In Cleveland, Nick Chubb started the Torrids early in the series, averaging 88.9 all-purpose yards per game with 9.9 yards per carry and four touchdowns for Brown. But at week 4 he suffered a knee fracture injury, giving back-up Karim Hunt a chance. He won the Week 5 against Indianapolis, making a touchdown and performing 93 ards yards.
Examples, not limited to 2020. In 2018, when Hunt was released by the same Kansas City Chiefs who just signed Bell, Damien Williams filled in without a hitch, scoring 107.3 yards from scrimmage and 1.3 touchdowns in regular-season games, compared to his 109 yards. 1.4 Touchdown for Hunt.
That same year, Todd Gurley injured his knee and missed the last two games of the season in which he was in early talks for the league MVP. His replacement, CJ Anderson – traveled to his fourth team Of the year – played such a good role that Gurley was dropped for the backup role when he returned from injury during the play.
Bell may not be able to command a price tag for chiefs, but history suggests they have the answer to whatever problems they may already be facing on the roster – and they probably won’t even run away.
Check out our latest NFL forecasts.