Blake Bell is back with the Kansas City Chiefs, but hopefully this doesn’t deter the team from continuing to look for depth at tight end.
The Kansas City Chiefs signed a tight end in free agency and it’s a familiar face, as Blake Bell is returning to KC. Bell spent one year with the Chiefs in 2019, winning a Super Bowl with them, and then took his talents to Dallas this past year.
Bell has been a journeyman throughout his career, playing for the 49ers, Vikings, and Jaguars before he originally signed with the Chiefs, but now he returns to Kansas City to try and win another ring.
While some might be excited to see a face from the Super Bowl-winning roster return, Bell shouldn’t be the answer at the backup tight end position. This is something the Chiefs have struggled with since Anthony Fasano left following the 2014 season and it’s frustrating that they continue to ignore it.
Blake Bell is fine as a third-stringer, but he’s not a realistic backup option for this team.
During his lone season with the Chiefs, Bell caught eight passes for 67 yards and had a touchdown in the playoffs. Those numbers look a heck of a lot better than the backup tight end options this past season, but the Chiefs still need to keep searching for a true backup behind Travis Kelce.
The Chiefs tendered Nick Keizer, meaning he’ll be back in 2021 too. Having a tight end depth chart of Kelce, Bell, and Keizer shouldn’t be the goal here.
The Chiefs should strongly consider spending a Day 2 or 3 pick on a tight end in the draft (Brevin Jordan, Tommy Tremble, or Hunter Long are some intriguing options who could be had in rounds two or three) to help add talent to this position. They could also still look to free agency, as Kyle Rudolph is still waiting to sign somewhere too.
If Kelce were to miss an extended period of time (knock on wood please), do Chiefs fans feel confident that Bell could step in and carry the load? Obviously, not many tight ends can do what Kelce does, but Bell had just 67 yards in 2019. He fared a little better in Dallas, going over the 100-yard receiving mark with 110 yards off 11 receptions, but still, this shouldn’t mark the end of searching for tight end talent in Kansas City.
While the Chiefs might not see the backup tight end as an area of need, they need to think about if something were to happen to Kelce and how big of an impact that’d be to this offense. Bell isn’t a bad player, but he shouldn’t be the plan at TE2 for 2021.