This column isn’t likely going to find too many Kansas City Chiefs fans hitting the social media trail championing the thought this organization should consider trading, Jamaal Charles. Granted it’s a risk but Kansas City is four deep at the running back position heading into the 2016 season, and that’s without their best player on the field.
For the most part, the Kansas City Chiefs offense has had their way with the Seattle Seahawks and Los Angeles Rams, running the football. Led by Spencer Ware, Charcandrick West, Darren Reaves and Knile Davis, the unit has held their own against a pair of solid NFL defenses.
However, with the season opener three plus weeks away, the Kansas City Chiefs have some glaring holes on defense and offense that can’t be ignored, if they are serious about challenging for an AFC West title this year.
It’s well documented the Chiefs can’t rush the passer without starters, Justin Houston and Tamba Hali, on the field. Houston is still months away but Hali will be on the field against the San Diego Chargers in the season opener.
Trading Charles isn’t popular but he is coming off his second major knee surgery. Though he looks to be 100%, Kansas City is being cautious with his reps. Yet inside the organization I’m told, there are no doubts Charles could take on a larger practice role.
If that’s the case, the Chiefs have to look at all options. On paper, this is the best team, Andy Reid, will put on the field since his arrival three years ago. John Dorsey, has improved the team with solid free agent moves and better drafts. However, this roster isn’t deep enough at outside linebacker nor offensive line, to feel comfortable that disaster looms with another injury at either position.
That’s why the Chiefs should consider listening to offers for Charles. There are plenty of teams that could use his services. For purposes of sanity, if he’s dealt, I can’t see Kansas City trading him to an AFC Team.
So which NFC teams make sense for Charles?
Washington Redskins – The teams running back situation is woeful. Matt Jones and Chris Thompson, lead the pack and I can’t see either one making much of an impact this season. The Redskins have put their entire offense on the shoulders of Quarterback, Kirk Cousins. As I see it without a stud running back, Cousins will be forced to execute a one-dimensional offense in a very tough division.
Detroit Lions – The motor city football team has four average backs on the roster, Ameer Abdullah, Theo Riddick, Stevan Ridley and Michael Burton, to trot on the field come opening day. Though I like Abdullah, he’s not Jamaal Charles. With an offense, that’s already lost, Calvin Johnson, I can’t see how they’re going to move the ball without a stud running back.
San Francisco 49ers – After their shake up a year ago, it appears the NFC West team has settled on Blaine Gabbert, as their starting quarterback. Though the journeyman quarterback has finally found a home in the Bay, their offense remains a work in progress. At the moment, Carlos Hyde and former Chiefs running back, Shaun Draughn, lead the pack. Though I like Hyde, adding Charles to the 49ers gives them an offensive boost – especially when you consider how weak the 49ers are at the wide receiver position.
Chicago Bears – The Chiefs opponent this weekend could be the prime suitor for Charles. With Jeremy Langford atop the depth chart, and Ka’Deem Carey, the Bears primary back-up, Jay Cutler could be in for a long season. Though I’m not a Cutler fan by any means, the Bears offense still possesses a star wide receiver in Alshon Jeffrey. With the addition of Charles, and Cutler’s game managing experience, that trio could lead the Bears to a division title.
Seattle Seahawks – As the Chiefs saw in the pre-season opener, the Seahawks can run the football. With Christine Michael, Alex Collins and Troymaine Pope, the trio is more than adequate to run the ball behind Quarterback, Russell Wilson. However, they have question marks at offensive line, and having an experienced running back of the talents of Charles, would allow the team to overcome their primary offensive deficiency.
Again, there’s not concrete information that suggests the Chiefs are listening to offers for any of their backs, but Kansas City can’t sit back and hope they’ll find another pass rusher or offensive lineman, to shore up their roster weakness. Sure, they might get lucky if another NFL team decides to dump a high quality pass rusher or offensive lineman, but that’s a big if for Kansas City to risk with the division title on the line.
Until then, the Chiefs should explore all options, and that includes, shopping Sir Charles for players and future draft picks.