The Chiefs star running back was expected to hold out from training camp had he not gotten a raise from the $3.9 million that he was set to make in 2014.
There were 12 running backs in the NFL who would have been making more than Charles and not he, nor the Chiefs, were willing to let that idea settle.
I had no intention on holding out...I just ran out of gas on the way to camp and my cell phone battery died. It was a long walk I tell ya.— Jamaal Charles (@jcharles25) July 23, 2014
The Chiefs and Charles quickly came to an agreement on a two-year extension and the deal will more than double Charles’ salary in 2014.
Jamaal Charles certainly earned his money, though.
According to NFL.com, in 2013 Charles became the first running back in 30 years to lead his team in rushes, receptions, rushing yards, receiving yards, rushing TDs, and receiving TDs. Not only was he above and beyond an offensive leader, but it was on a team that went from last place in the NFL in 2012 to the playoffs in 2013.
In 2014, however, Charles will not be able to repeat his performance from a season ago.
This is not based on the fact that a season as incredible as the one Charles just had is nearly impossible to recreate in succession, but that the Kansas City Chiefs should actually not let Charles repeat his performance from a year ago.
Charles led the NFL in total yards last season because he was run into the ground. He can be the leader of the Chiefs for many more years with his dynamic skill set, but the team will need to pace him.
Towards the end of the season we had come to learn, however, that the Chiefs do not necessarily need to put the team on the shoulders of their star running back. Instead, they can place it on their running back(s).
When Charles went down in the playoff matchup against the Colts, rookie backup Knile Davis stepped in and nearly helped the team to victory. Davis had 100 total yards of offense and two touchdowns.
In Davis’ last six games, he rushed for 234 yards, caught nine passes for another 66 yards, returned seven kicks for an average of over 39 yards per return and scored seven total touchdowns.
According to Joel Thorman of Arrowheadpride.com Andy Reid said:
Knile was a rookie and he was learning every week and getting better every week. As the season went on we were able to give him the ball a little bit more. Coming into this season we'll be able to mix it up a little bit better than what we did early in the season last year.
This made it clear that the Chiefs intend to fit Davis into the team’s game plan more often, as they should.
Now Charles still needs to be the focal part of the Chief’s offense, and he likely will be, but everyone who is expecting him to do everything again should just forget about it now.
Knile Davis will be one heck of a sidekick for Charles to keep his legs fresh. This will be best for the Kansas City Chiefs season. As for all of you fantasy football team owners who plan to draft Charles No. 1 overall in your draft’s, sorry, he has more important championships to worry about.