Update (4:50 pm): Bell has narrowed his decision down to two teams: the Chiefs and the Dolphins, according to Nate Taylor of The Athletic. Kansas City thought they had a deal earlier in the day, though talks have stalled.
Miami has been “waving around” money in an effort to lure Bell and the franchise has the cap space to make a substantial offer. Bell has a home in Miami and spends significant time there, so it wouldn’t be a major surprise if he ends up staying with the AFC East.
11:33 am: The New York Jets released running back Le’Veon Bell earlier this week after management was unable to find a trading partner for his services. Limited by his contract and lack of showstopping production, the Jets chose to simply cut ties with Bell. Speculation over where the former superstar will end up has been rampant now that the choice is his.
Bell had not performed exceptionally well in his time with the Jets. Last season he rushed for just 789 yards and 3 touchdowns, the lowest totals of his career outside his injury-plagued 2015 season. In two games with the Jets this year he had 74 rushing yards and no scores. Favored by Oddsmakers to land with the Chicago Bears and Pittsburgh Steelers, Bell has reportedly narrowed his decision down to three teams.
Bell is expected to choose between three teams as early as today, per Jeremy Fowler. Two former AFC East opponents, the Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills, and the reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs.
Miami, perhaps the weakest of the three, currently has a running back depth chart consisting of Myles Gaskin and Matt Breida. Despite their impressive win over the San Francisco 49ers last week, the Dolphins do not appear to be a contender this season, so it’s more than a little surprising Bell has them on his list.
The Buffalo Bills could definitely use help in the backfield. Currently 4-1 and leading the AFC East, the Bills suffered a staggering 42-16 loss Tuesday in which Tennessee held starter Devin Singletary to just 25 yards on 11 carries. Bell will have to return to his Steeler form to help this team but he’ll move to a legitimate candidate to win the East and potentially make some noise in the playoffs.
Kansas City looked like they had their running back situation all shored up in week one. Rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire hung 138 yards on the Houston Texans. Since then, Edwards-Helaire has plummeted back down to earth. He has not surpassed 64 rushing yards in any other game this season. None of Kansas City’s other running backs are even worth mentioning at this point. The Chiefs are a legitimate contender to repeat as champions and appear to be Bell’s best shot at a title this season.