Jamaal Charles has been one of the best running backs in the NFL as he ranks as the all-time leading rusher for the Kansas City Chiefs. However, injuries have been a huge issue for Charles as they were once again in 2015. Charles entered the season healthy, but did not end the year that way which has made plenty of people question whether or not the running back will return next year.
Charles ended the season in disappointment by tearing his ACL in October. The 29-year-old is owed $6 million in 2016 which is a reasonable salary for the rusher, but could the Chiefs opt to seek a trade for Charles instead of bringing him back? As Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West successfully took over for Charles after the injury, general manager John Dorsey stressed that the veteran will be on the team in 2016.
"I've always thought it was the nine- to 10-month window (for recovery), but with the surgical procedures and the way they are today, guys have come back a lot faster than they have in years past," Dorsey said, via the team website. "I think it's a case-by-case basis. It's got to be. As I look at it right now, I think he may be ahead of schedule in terms of his rehabilitation. The guy is an extremely talented player, love him to death, love how dirty tough he is. He's a Chief."
Charles has a career per-carry average of 5.5 yards. Regardless of his age he is a true talent that the Chiefs would be wise to keep on the roster. However, he does hold a lot of value in the league and Kansas City could change their mind and try to get something in return for him, but that is highly unlikely.
The Chiefs have some decisions to make this offseason in terms of free agency. Eric Berry might be their biggest name on the open market. The safety has been a real asset to the Chiefs since his arrival and the team cannot afford to let him go. If Berry hits the market, every team will look to him as an upgrade in secondary. The team can be said for both Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali. Dorsey told the team site that the Chiefs will look at every contract and make sure they do what is best for the franchise.
"What I want to do is what's best for this organization," Dorsey said. "We have to sit down and develop our plan as move forward. I don't think right now is the time to do this, this or this."
The Chiefs can return next season with just about the same team and be contenders yet again. Dorsey predicts that both Jeremy Maclin and De'Anthony Thomas will be healthy come 2016 and the expectation with be the playoffs again.