MURRELL COLUMN: Charles’ greatness amid injuries precipitates talk of trade
Published 11:14 pm Thursday, April 7, 2016
There should be no question when Jamaal Charles finishes his NFL career that he’ll have a spot in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
In a career that has spanned exactly 100 games, he’s rushed for the fourth-most yards per carry, ranking one spot ahead of Jim Brown of all people, would likely have 10,000 rushing yards by now if not for two injury-plagued seasons (he has 7,220), is one of 42 players all-time to average 70 or more rushing yards per game (he’s at 72.2) and has 42 touchdowns. He’s done it all with one team, which in itself is a blessing.
Would the Kansas City Chiefs be that foolish to trade all that greatness from Port Arthur away?
Well, this is what happens when someone steps up in Charles’ absence and wills KC to the playoffs: Talk of trading away the old abounds.
Jamaal isn’t that old, but he is that seasoned. He’s also that valuable, injuries and all.
Then again, that’s why he’s on the trading block in cyber world.
Let’s just begin with NFL.com. Four of its writers predicted Charles would go to the Indianapolis Colts for a second-rounder in 2017.
I would think the Chiefs make them add a first-rounder to that, that is if they’re foolish enough to deal Charles.
NFL.com’s assessment is that “Charles would give the Colts a legitimate presence on the ground at an affordable $5.75 million for 2016,” although “Kansas City won’t part with their star back for cheap.” Spotrac.com reports Charles earned $7,970,835 in 2015 ($4.45 million base) and is scheduled to earn $5,312,500 ($2.75 million base). That’s not counting any option bonus he might earn.
Last season is just last season, but Kansas City did finish second in the AFC West only to the Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos and won a wild-card game. Indianapolis was second to the Houston Texans in the South and did not make the playoffs, so the Colts in some fashion will be aggressive.
In actuality, what team wouldn’t be aggressive to get somebody from a loaded backfield that also includes Knile Davis, Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware? Well, the Miami Dolphins reportedly want them some Davis, and a change of scenery could be good for Davis to get his rushing career going in a consistent manner. He adds value to any team as an established kick returner, but Texans fans need not be reminded of that.
If, indeed, a deal for Davis is looming, that serves the Chiefs well in staying aggressive to hold onto Charles.
I started working on this column thinking I was going to talk about the media’s shortsightedness of the Chiefs’ running back situation. Looking back, it’s no more shortsightedness on their part than it is examining all possibilities.
Charles’ value warrants the talk … not that I think the Chiefs will act on it.
I.C. Murrell can be reached at 721-2435 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews