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NFL Trade Rumors: Marlon Mack Interests Chiefs, Panthers, 49ers, Saints at Deadline

Erin WalshOctober 21, 2021

Rob Carr/Getty Images

Several teams in need of help in the backfield are reportedly interested in making a move for Indianapolis Colts running back Marlon Mack. 

The Kansas City Chiefs, Carolina Panthers, San Francisco 49ers and New Orleans Saints are among teams that have inquired about the former fourth-round pick, per Josina Anderson of CBS Sports. 

Mack and the Colts mutually agreed to seek a trade last month, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported. The 25-year-old discussed the decision a few days after the report.

"Just had an agreement with what's best for me,'' Mack said, via Mike Chappell of Fox 59. "They were just all with it. They supported me 100 percent. It's a mutual agreement I would say.''

It's not surprising that Mack and the Colts are ready to part ways. The Florida native has played just 54 snaps in four games this season, rushing for 97 yards and no touchdowns on 25 carries. 

Mack's best season came in 2019 when he rushed for 1,091 yards and eight touchdowns. When he went down with an Achilles injury in 2020, Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines emerged as the top running backs in Indy.

The fifth-year pro has since become an afterthought in the offense behind Taylor and Hines, who have combined for 573 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns in six games. 

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None of the teams mentioned by Anderson that have shown interest in Mack come as a surprise. The Chiefs are looking for help at running back after losing Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who has been placed on injured reserve, to a sprained MCL. 

Behind Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City could use some depth. While Darrel Williams has rushed for 161 yards and four touchdowns this season, including two rushing scores in last weekend's win over the Washington Football Team, third-string back Jerick McKinnon has just four carries for 12 yards in six games. McKinnon only recently saw an uptick in his number of offensive snaps because of Edwards-Helaire's injury. 

The Panthers could also use depth at running back behind Chuba Hubbard and Royce Freeman. Star back Christian McCaffrey is on injured reserve with a hamstring ailment, and it's unclear when he might return to the field. 

Hubbard, a 2021 fourth-round pick of the Panthers, has rushed for 281 yards and a touchdown in six games this season, and his production doesn't even come close to that of McCaffrey's. As for Freeman, he only has 12 carries for 34 yards in six games and has been used sparingly in comparison to Hubbard. 

San Francisco has been in need of running back help since the 2021 campaign began. The 49ers lost starting back Raheem Mostert to a season-ending knee injury in Week 1, and JaMycal Hasty is also on injured reserve with a high-ankle sprain. 

The Niners drafted Trey Sermon and Elijah Mitchell in April, and they have combined for 324 yards and two touchdowns in a combined seven games, but adding a veteran such as Mack could be beneficial. 

The Saints are also in need of depth, with little behind four-time Pro Bowler Alvin Kamara. Tony Jones Jr. is set to miss an extended period with an ankle injury, and the only running backs behind Kamara are Devine Ozigbo and Dwayne Washington. 

Ozigbo has appeared in one game this season, playing just seven snaps in a Week 5 win against WFT. Washington has been active for five games this season but has just one carry for five yards. 

With each of these teams in desperate need of help as the Nov. 2 trade deadline approaches, Mack's price could end up being higher than expected. However, it's unclear what Indy is asking for in negotiations.  

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