When I projected the Chiefs as my No. 1 projected landing spot for Le'Veon Bell following his release from the Jets, the comments on the post generally followed a certain thought process: why not?
It's not like the Chiefs are struggling on the offensive side of the ball, but it definitely couldn't hurt to add a veteran, pass-catching running back to the corps of weapons surrounding Patrick Mahomes. He could help Clyde Edwards-Helaire to develop — though there wasn't much room for improvement after the rookie exploded for 165 rushing yards against the Bills — and he could help bolster the rotation of CEH, Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson. They have the cap room. They have the win-now mentality (obviously). So why not?
But Mahomes views it as more than just a "why not?" type of move. He's extremely excited to start working with the three-time Pro Bowler, and he shared his thoughts on his new teammate in his weekly appearance on The Drive with Carrington Harrison and Sean Levine.
"Yeah, I think it's going to help out a ton," Mahomes said when asked about the signing. "Obviously, Clyde (Edwards-Helaire) has been playing his tail off and doing a great job, Darrel as well. But adding a guy that's that versatile, that's really had a lot of success in this league and is hungry to come out there and prove the haters wrong... I'm excited for him to have that opportunity and be able to be another great weapon in this offense."
But what about all of the people who say that Bell has lost a step, as his recent stats might indicate? After all, he averaged just 4.0 yards per carry in his last season with the Steelers and averaged 3.3 yards per carry in his 17-game Jets career.
"They aren't watching the all-22," Mahomes said. "They're not watching the film. You watch him — obviously with the Steelers but even with the Jets — he was still out there making plays happen.
"...They're getting those loaded boxes and he's getting guarded by some of the best defenders on the team because that's how much of a weapon he is, and he's still making plays happen. And obviously, coming here he's gonna have better one-on-one matchups and he's gonna be a hard guy for defenses to stop."
Mahomes also sees Bell's status as a veteran who has played in multiple offensive systems as a factor that will enable him to play a part immediately.
"He's been in some similar types of offenses, so I think if you get into the stuff that's kind of the base, main things in the offense, I think he can contribute right away," Mahomes said. "And as he continues to learn more and more, we'll continue to let him evolve more and more in the offense and just be another weapon for us to have."
While Edwards-Helaire figures to be a fixture next to Patrick Mahomes for a long time, running back stability hadn't exactly been the case for Mahomes throughout his young career prior to 2020. In 2018, Kareem Hunt, Spencer Ware and Damien Williams all received over 50 carries. None of those three running backs are a part of the active 2020 roster for various reasons. Should Bell fit in nicely, Mahomes could enjoy the duo of CEH and Bell — and some previously unseen running back stability — for a solid chunk of time.
Though there's no guarantee Bell becomes a part of the Chiefs system for any season beyond 2020, his elite skills as a receiver and his patient, confident play style will likely be a nice presence for Mahomes and Chiefs fans to enjoy going forward.