Trading Damien Williams before the season starts for the Kansas City Chiefs might be best for the team, according to at least one analyst. Leigh Oleszczak of the Kansas City Kingdom wrote on Tuesday that dealing the veteran running back would allow the team to give first-round draft pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire a chance to show the NFL what he can do.
Oleszczak said Williams is likely going to be the Chiefs’ starter if he remains on the team. That role is thanks to his performance late in the season and the playoffs. His play during the Chiefs’ Super Bowl win over the San Francisco 49ers almost won him the game’s Most Valuable Player award. In the postseason, he had 196 yards and four touchdowns in three games. He had just over 400 yards and five touchdowns during the regular season.
His decent but far from superstar level performance is one of the reasons Oleszczak thinks trading Williams might be best for the Chiefs. Edwards-Helaire is still the biggest reason the analyst believes a deal should be done.
She pointed out Edwards-Helaire wasn’t drafted in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft to sit on the sidelines. She believes that as long as the veteran running back is still in town, he’s going to get the starting nod. Williams will at least be the starting running back for the early part of the 2020 season.
Getting the rookie some carries in his first year is one of the analyst’s reasons for getting rid of Williams, but she said it goes deeper than that. Edwards-Helaire just signed his rookie contract, and she points out that a running back’s value goes down quite precipitously once that rookie deal is over. The analyst believes its best to get the Chiefs’ first-round draft pick as much work as they can muster before he’s set to earn quite a bit more money.
Oleszczak also pointed out that while Williams had a nice run in the playoffs, he isn’t someone who has managed to stay healthy. He also hasn’t been consistently productive.
The running back has been a backup for most of his career. His six starts in 2019 were a career-high. In 74 previous games, he started just seven times, all with the Miami Dolphins. His previous career-high in rushing yards was in 2018 when he amassed 256 yards and four touchdowns.
Oleszczak said if the Chiefs look to trade Williams, they might be able to find a team that is looking for a veteran backup running back. She did say the return likely wouldn’t be much, but it would free up a roster spot and clear the way for Edwards-Helaire.