During Tuesday’s settlement of the Buffalo-Tennessee game, the New York Jets announced that they had released the two-time All-Pro that drove back Le’veon Bell. The 0-5 Jets reportedly tried to find a team willing to trade for Bell, but general manager Joe Douglas apparently found insufficient interest. Instead of keeping Bell on the list, New York chose to cut him straight and accept a hit-dead-cap hit of over $ 19 million. Although 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 in his six years, and 62 games played as a Pittsburgh Steeler.
Thursday night, Bell landed on his feet and upgraded from one of the worst teams in the NFL to reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. According to ESPN̵
It’s a weird move for Kansas City. The Chiefs just spent their first round draft picks (32nd overall) on RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire in April. It’s true that Kansas City has not been good at rushing football this year: They rank 27th in expected points added (EPA) per game. Urgent game so far. But Bell arrives directly from the team that ranks died last. What are the Chiefs hoping to gain with the Bell signing?
Playing football successfully in the NFL has more to do with order and line play than the player who wears the football. And this season has given us a lot more proof that running backs in today’s NFL can be largely replaced. Even the highest paid players in the position have not offered much extra in the production path this year compared to their backups.
Christian McCaffrey, the highest paid back in the NFL, went down with a high ankle sprain in Week 2. In his absence, the Carolina Panthers turned to teammate Mike Davis, an earlier draft fourth quarter on his fourth NFL team that had on average only 28.4 combined rushing and receiving shipyards per. fight over 49 careers in regular season. But since Davis has taken over as the leading back, the former winless Panthers have won three straight games. During the winning streak, Davis scored three touchdowns and averaged 117 yards from scrimmage per game. Match – and beat McCaffery’s career average of 113 yards in the first round.
A similar story played out last weekend in Seattle. In Minnesota’s Week 5 game against the Seattle Seahawks, the Vikings lost the star who ran back Dalvin Cook in the third quarter due to a groin injury. Cook’s backup, Alexander Mattison, stepped in and continued to rush to 112 yards on 20 carries, both career highs.
Before the season even started, the Jacksonville Jaguars cut ties with the former first-round pick, Leonard Fournette, and chose instead to turn to James Robinson, an unnamed rookie from the state of Illinois. While Jacksonville has only one win of the season, Robinson has provided the team with three touchdowns and 103.2 versatile yards per game. Match – eclipse of the 101.1 yards that Fournette averaged while with the Jaguars.
In Cleveland, Nick Chubb was off to a tremendous start to the season with an average of 5.9 yards per carry. Carry and 88.1 all-yard yards per. Play with four touchdowns for the Browns. But he suffered a knee injury in week 4, giving backup Kareem Hunt a chance. He skillfully completed the Week 5 win over Indianapolis, scoring a touchdown and collecting 93 yards from scrimmage.
The examples are not limited to 2020 either. In 2018, when Hunt was released by the same Kansas City Chiefs who just signed Bell, Damien Williams completed without missing a shot, averaging 107.3 yards from scrimmage and 1 , 3 touchdowns in the regular season games he started, compared to 109 yards from scrimmage and 1.4 touchdowns to Hunt.
That same year, Todd Gurley injured his knee and missed the last two games of a season where he was in the early talks for the league MVP. His replacement, CJ Anderson – a Swedish man on his fourth team the year’s – played so well that Gurley was relegated to a backup role when he returned from injury during the playoffs.
Bell may not command a high price for Chiefs, but history suggests they have the answer to the running problem they may already face on the list – and it’s probably not even a setback.
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