KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As the NFL's trade deadline looms at 3 p.m. central time Tuesday, a flurry of player names and teams are swirling through the rumor mill.
Tuesday morning, the name of Jets running back Le'Veon Bell entered the fray connected with the Kansas City Chiefs.
On paper the deal doesn't make sense. The Jets reportedly want a high price for Bell, and they aren't actively shopping him. The Chiefs thus far haven't found a trade target worth the cost in draft capital, and Bell comes with a steeper financial costs as well.
Bell just signed a four-year, $52.5 million free agent deal with New York. He's owed just $1 million in base salary remaining in 2019 plus up to $25,000 in active game bonus money, but that's not the problem.
The problem comes next. Bell has $13 million in guaranteed salary and roster bonuses owed to him. That's a big number – especially for a running back in today's. It would also complicate the Chiefs plans for an extension with quarterback Patrick Mahomes and extending defensive tackle Chris Jones.
The there's the question of need. Yes, the Chiefs are average a paltry 83 yards per game on the ground with just 3.9 yards per carry. That has a bit more to do with how the Chiefs are using their rushing attack and the myriad of injuries along the offensive line.
Bell rushed for 349 yards through the first seven games of the season while averaging just 3.2 yards per carry. His receiving numbers are also way down this season, catching 32 passes for 187 yards.
The combination of LeSean McCoy and Damien Williams have outperformed Bell this season. The Chiefs bigger need remains stopping the run – the defense ranks 30th in the league allowing 145 yards per game. Reinforcements at defensive tackle and linebacker appear a great need than a high-priced running back.
The chances of a deal emerging between the Jets and Chiefs? Not likely.