After spending the first nine seasons of his career with the Kansas City Chiefs, running back Jamaal Charles will be looking for a new team for 2017 as the Chiefs made the decision to release Charles on Tuesday. Charles will now hit the open market for the first time in his career, and the Chiefs’ all-time leading rusher will be looking to play for a contender according to NFL Network‘s Mike Garafolo.
BREAKING: Chiefs will release RB Jamaal Charles today.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) February 28, 2017
Specifically, Garafolo mentioned that the Dallas Cowboys “would be high on Jamaal Charles’ list, for sure.” Charles played his college ball at the University of Texas, and the Cowboys look to be one of the elite teams in the NFC after going 13-3 in 2016 and reaching the NFC Divisional Round of the playoffs before being eliminated by Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers.
The Cowboys possess the best offensive line in the NFL and Jamaal wouldn’t have to worry about carrying the heavy load that he had in Kansas City as Dallas already has one of the elite running backs in the NFL in Ezekiel Elliott. Charles would presumably help the Cowboys by giving Elliott a breather and keeping the miles down on the young running back while also helping out in the passing game.
— Cowboys Report (@cowboys_fanly) February 28, 2017
While Charles may have interest in playing for the Cowboys, it’s unclear whether the feeling is mutual. Dallas general manager Jerry Jones has some holes to fill on the defensive side of the ball this offseason, and he may not want to use up part of his cap room on a position of strength such as another running back.
The 30-year-old Charles will also have to convince teams that he’s completely healthy after finishing the 2016 NFL season on injured reserve due to a knee injury. It was the second year in a row that Jamaal was unable to finish the season as he tore the ACL in his right during 2015. Charles also tore the ACL in his left knee in 2011 which puts some serious question marks on his durability.
Among other teams in search of a running back that look to be on the verge of contending would be the New York Giants, Green Bay Packers, Oakland Raiders, and Detroit Lions.
As for the Kansas City Chiefs, this move makes a lot sense financially as tough as it may have been to part with the franchise’s leading rusher. Spencer Ware filled in admirably for Jamaal Charles when he was injured last season and rushed for 921 yards on 214 carries while hauling in 33 passes for 447 yards and scored five total touchdowns.
— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) February 3, 2017
In addition to Ware, the Chiefs also have a viable backup in Charcandrick West who rushed for 293 yards on 88 carries last season and caught 28 balls for 188 yards. Kansas City also recently signed C.J. Spiller to a deal who could handle the occasional carry in the backfield while also potentially helping return kicks.
The Chiefs also just handed out a six-year $78 million deal to safety Eric Berry and a five-year $41.25 deal to starting right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif in the last two days and will likely be placing the franchise tag on defensive tackle Dontari Poe. Keeping Charles would’ve only opened up some more cap room for Chiefs general manager John Dorsey to take care of some other holes.
Where do you think Jamaal Charles fits best? Should the Dallas Cowboys make a run at him despite already having Ezekiel Elliott in the backfield?
Let us know in the comments section.
[Featured Image by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images]