Kansas City Chiefs head coach Andy Reid is among the most widely beloved figures in the NFL, and certainly thought of as a player’s coach. There is one notable player who does not think fondly of Reid, however: former Chiefs running back Le’Veon Bell.
The former Pittsburgh Steelers star was picked up by the team after his release from the New York Jets. His role never really developed into what Bell probably thought it would, as the team was dedicated to getting plenty of work for rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the backfield. In nine games with Kansas City, Bell rushed for just 254 yards and two touchdowns, adding 99 yards through the air. In the playoffs, he touched the ball just twice for six yards.
“I’ll never play for Andy Reid again,” Bell said on Instagram last week. “I’d retire first.” He’s since walked back that statement, but clearly there’s no love lost on that side of the relationship.
Reid doesn’t hold any animosity, however. “I enjoyed my time with him. I’m pulling for him,” he said of the current free agent, per Ian Rapoport. “That’s how I roll.”
#Chiefs coach Andy Reid on the comments made by his former RB Le’Veon Bell: "I enjoyed my time with him. I'm pulling for him. That's how I roll."
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) June 17, 2021
That’s no surprise coming from Reid, who is as pleasant a person as you’ll find in the league. Le’Veon Bell may not have gotten the kind of playing time that he had hoped with the Chiefs, but his problems are very much now his own, as he approaches training camp without a team.
As recently as 2017, Bell was seen as arguably the league’s best running back. That year, he rushed for 1,291 yards and nine touchdowns, added 655 yards and two scores through the air. It was his third season of at least 1,800 total yards from scrimmage in four years.
After holding out for the entire 2018 season, he signed with the New York Jets for 2019, but did not look like the same dynamic player in the struggling Jets offense, after a year away. That continued into 2020 with New York, and then Kansas City after his release. It would surprise to see Bell as a featured back anywhere at this point.