If one thing has become clear about Le'Veon Bell over the past few days, it's that his decision to sign with the Chiefs on Thursday definitely didn't have anything to do with money. Although Bell has done everything in his career to try and get top dollar, the three-time Pro Bowl running back didn't exactly break the bank in Kansas City.
According to ESPN.com, Bell's one-year contract with the Chiefs is going to pay him a base salary of $1 million. However, since the season is already five weeks old, Bell won't even be getting all of that because his contract will be prorated, which means he's only going to take home a total of roughly $690,000 in base salary this year.
The good news for Bell is that he'll be able to earn some extra money on top of that as his contract also includes $1 million in playing time and playoff incentives, which means his one-year deal could end up paying him a maximum of $1.69 million.
Bell's deal with the Chiefs is slightly smaller than the one he originally signed back in March 2019 when he landed a four-year, $52.5 million contract with the Jets. Speaking of the Jets, they're actually going to be paying Bell some serious money this season even though he's not even playing for them.
With his Jets contract, Bell was going to make $8.5 million in base salary in 2020. Although he got cut last week, the money was guaranteed, which means the Jets will still have to pay him the $6 million in base salary he has remaining for the year.
The only reprieve for the Jets is that Bell's contract included an offset clause, which means they don't have to pay him the full amount if he's making money from another team. In this scenario, if Bell makes just the $690,000 base salary from the Chiefs, then the Jets would only owe him $5.39 million for the rest of the season.
That being said, there's also a chance the Jets WILL have to pay him the full $6 million no matter what. As pointed out by NFL.com, a veteran player is allowed to collect termination pay, which allows the player to keep their full base salary if they get cut (A player is only allowed to collect on this one time in their career). Since Bell was released, he's entitled to the termination pay and if he decides to take it, then he'll get $6 million from the Jets AND his $690,000 salary from the Chiefs for a total of $6.69 million over the final 12 weeks of the season.
If you're wondering why the Jets decided to release bell instead of looking for a trade partner, it appears that saving money was the main motivation in that decision. According to ESPN.com, the Jets were worried that if they kept Bell until the trade deadline (Nov. 3), he might get injured. The issue there for the Jets is if that had happened, they would have been on the hook for an injury guarantee of $8 million that Bell had written into his contract for 2021. Instead of risking injury to Bell and losing out on another $8 million to a player they didn't really want, the Jets decided to cut ties and move on.
After a short stint with the Jets, Bell is now in Kansas City and if you're wondering how this will impact the Chiefs offense, you're going to want to click here to check out our story on how Bell will fit in.