In October of 2015, Kansas City Chiefs star running back Jamaal Charles was felled by a torn ACL in his right knee in a game against the Chicago Bears. In the season since, Charles has played in just eight games and finished the 2016-2017 season with only 12 carries for 40 yards.
Chiefs general manager John Dorsey told the Kansas City Star, “He is working like the dickens to get himself ready for the 2017 season. We’ll see what happens in March and April, but right now I see him as a Chief.”
Charles sits at first place in Chiefs all-time leading rushers with 7,260 career yards and will most certainly get the starting nod if he can remain healthy. Charles has been with the Chiefs for nine seasons and is native to the West Coast style offense. He’s a constant threat and has proved time and again how adept he can be as a running back.
If KC chooses to release Charles, they would save about $6 million in salary-cap; a comfortable amount for the franchise to work with. If not, a restructuring deal could be in the works and the Chiefs’ run success in 2017 would depend heavily on the well-being of the running back.
The Chiefs run last season, even without Charles, didn’t suffer too heavily. Running back Spencer Ware led the team with 921 yards and 4.3 average yards per carry. Things are still up in the air, with it being so early in the offseason, but it’s up to the management and coaching staff whether they want to risk further injury to Charles or take the next few months to better evaluate who’s healthy, and who could be a potentially high pick in the upcoming draft.
Last month in an interview with the KC Star, head coach Andy Reid said of Charles, “He’s here working his tail off and trying to get back to where he can play again at this level.”