Ex-Cһіefs QB: KC Used Free Agent аs ‘Leverаge’ to Sіgn RB Clyde Edwаrds-Helаіre

On the same day that the Kansas City Chiefs hosted free-agent running back J.K. Dobbins for a visit — Wednesday, April 2 — the team also signed running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

“Can confirm Clyde Edwards-Helaire has agreed to a 1-year deal to re-sign with the Chiefs, per sources. As for JK Dobbins, I’m told his visit today was productive for both parties, perhaps a partnership that could happen later this offseason,” The Athletic’s Nate Taylor wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Former Chiefs quarterback Chase Daniel reacted to Taylor’s post by explaining why he believes Dobbins was used as “leverage” to sign CEH.

“AKA: let’s bring JK Dobbins in as leverage to make Clyde Edwards-Helaire sign,” Daniel wrote. “I was that leverage in March 2017 after I got cut by Philly. I was in Dallas & Jets flew me up 1st Class to meet with them & as soon as I got off the plane my agent called & said they signed Josh McCown to a $6M deal. Had the driver take us to Philly so we could move out of our house instead. That’s life in the NFL.”

Clyde Edwards-Helaire Gets Another Chance With Chiefs After Disappointing Start to Career
Edwards-Helaire, 24, returning to the Chiefs is a bit of a surprise considering how his NFL career started.

After being selected with the 32nd overall pick in 2020, CEH registered 1,100 all-purpose yards (803 rushing, 297 receiving) and 5 total touchdowns (4 rushing, 1 receiving) during his rookie season, according to Pro Football Reference.

But Edwards-Helaire’s production has dipped since his rookie season.

CEH tallied 517, 302, and 223 rushing yards during the 2021, 2022, and 2023 seasons respectively. Though he struggled to show explosion on the field, injuries are the biggest reason for CEH’s lack of productivity. Since entering the league, he has missed a total of 19 games and has battled through numerous injuries while on the field. That’s why 2022 seventh-round pick Isiah Pacheco supplanted him as the RB1 in Kansas City’s backfield roughly midway through the 2022 season.

With the NFL Draft on April 25, the thought was the Chiefs could have addressed — and still could address — their running back depth through the draft. And if they didn’t come out of the draft with a back they then could have sparked negotiations with CEH in hopes of a reunion. Instead, the tw0-time defending Super Bowl champions locked up Edwards-Helaire weeks before the draft.

As it currently stands, Kansas City’s backfield includes Pacheco, CEH, La’Mical Perine, Keaontay Ingram, Deneric Prince, Hassan Hall, and Louis Rees-Zammit.

Chiefs Should Consider Signing J.K. Dobbins as Well
Despite signing Edwards-Helaire, if Kansas City doesn’t come out of the draft with another back, it should consider signing Dobbins post-draft.

Though he has had an injury-riddled NFL career, when he’s healthy he’s a very productive back. So, signing him as the team’s RB2/RB3 would allow him to prove his worth while competing for a championship in the process.

Spotrac’s calculated market value has Dobbins valued at a contract worth two years and $4.3 million — an average annual value (AAV) of $2.1 million.

According to Spotrac — which hasn’t taken into account CEH’s contract with Kansas City yet — the Chiefs have $26.4 million in cap space.

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