Kareem Hunt Chiefs Release: Is Le’Veon Bell Replacement Option?

The Kansas City Chiefs found themselves in an uncomfortable spot late this week involving running back Kareem Hunt. After a video came to light of the team’s starter arguing with a woman and proceeding to both push and kick her, the incident quickly made headlines. It was first released by TMZ Sports and originally occurred back in February of 2018 at a Cleveland hotel.

Shortly after the video was made public, the Chiefs released a statement revealing the decision to part ways with Hunt.

Following the decision to release him, it means Spencer Ware will likely hold down the No. 1 running back job with a few other names potentially mixing in. And while Ware is a solid option for the remainder of the 2018 season, things get somewhat interesting beyond that.

As Spotrac shows, Ware is only under contract through the remainder of this season, meaning the Chiefs will have a major need at the position entering the 2019 offseason. And one name who has to come to mind as at least an option is Pittsburgh Steelers star Le’Veon Bell, who’ll draw plenty of interest league-wide.


Could the Chiefs Pursue Le’Veon Bell in 2019 Free Agency?

The short answer would be yes, but there’s far more to it than that. Based on need, it’s an obvious fit, but Bell is going to command a massive amount of money. As NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport revealed just weeks ago, the Steelers running back is expected to push for more than $17 million per year.

“And yes, Le’Veon Bell is expected to get offered a lot of money. From what I understand, he wants more than $17 million per year. He wanted 17 from the Steelers last year, a new year, higher cap, he wants more than 17, heavy in the guaranteed money – from what I am told, seeking more than $45 million in guarantees. So you play that forward, he could potentially look for a five-year, $85 million deal.” Rapoport stated.

While that’s a massive amount of money for any player, it’s especially a lot for a running back. Spotrac shows that the Chiefs are currently set to have above the league average in salary cap space in the 2019 offseason, though. They are currently projected just north of $44.17 million in space but only have 39 players currently signed and under contract.

Kansas City could almost certainly find a way to make it work, should they opt to go that route. And the idea of pairing Bell up with Patrick Mahomes for the foreseeable future should be a terrifying thought for the rest of the NFL.


Chiefs’ Potential to Free up Cap Space in 2019

Kansas City finds themselves in a unique spot now with the need at running back. And while they’ll have cap space, they could also be looking at the potential to part ways with a few players to free up additional money. These decisions won’t be even remotely close to sorted out until after the current year wraps up.

But as Over The Cap details, the Chiefs have options for players who could be released in cap-saving moves while avoiding large amounts of dead money in the process.

Pin-pointing names who the Chiefs could move on from is tough without knowing which direction they’ll opt to go. The team also doesn’t have any massive contracts they could part with that would free up cap space, but the option to get unique with this approach could be on the table. That choice will come down to how aggressively (if at all) the Chiefs would pursue Bell.

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Source: Heavy Sports