Chiefs release RB, Memorial grad Charles

Published 1:43 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The Kansas City Chiefs have confirmed they released 2005 Port Arthur Memorial graduate Jamaal Charles after nine seasons.

The past two seasons were injury-plagued for Charles, 30, a running back who battled a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee. He had one year left on a two-year, $18.1 million contract ($8.3 million guaranteed), according to The cut is expected to save the Chiefs $6,187,500 in salary cap space.

“On behalf of my family and the entire Kansas City Chiefs team, I’d like to thank Jamaal Charles for his contributions and dedication over the last nine seasons,” Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt said in a news release on the team’s website. “Jamaal has been one of the most prolific players in our organization’s history, and I have an enormous amount of respect for what he has accomplished. He’ll always be a part of the Chiefs family, and we’ll be ready to honor him for his outstanding playing career when the time is right.”

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Charles ranks second among active players in yards per rushing attempt with 5.5, trailing only Michael Vick, and is fourth all-time in that category. He averaged 5.9 to lead the NFL in 2009.

A four-time Pro Bowler from the University of Texas, Charles led the NFL in rushing touchdowns (12) and rushing and receiving touchdowns (19) in 2013. He had an 80-yard rush in 2010 that was the longest in the NFL, and hius 10,963 rushing yards is 20th most among active players.

Charles has torn an ACL twice. The first time was in 2011, costing him 14 games, and the second was during the fifth week of the 2015 season against the Chicago Bears.

He was not able to come back until Oct. 2 of this past season, when he made two carries for 7 yards in a loss at Pittsburgh. Following a bye the weekend of Oct. 9, Charles had a season-high 33 yards on nine attempts in a win over Oakland, but was limited to one carry for no gain at home against New Orleans the next week.

Noted sports surgeon Dr. James Andrews of Pensacola, Fla., discovered Charles had a meniscus tear and operated on it. Charles said in his online blog he was happy he underwent the surgery and his teammates were supportive of it, but the Chiefs held him out for the rest of the season.

“I’ve been privileged to work with a lot of talented players over the years, and Jamaal Charles ranks up there with the great ones,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “I appreciate the way he came to work every day. He gave us everything he had day-in and day-out. I’ve said it before, I think he’s a future Hall of Famer.”

Charles is the Port Arthur ISD’s all-time leading rusher. (He’s a member of only the third graduating class in Memorial history.) He was drafted in the third round by the Chiefs in 2008 and has been named All-Pro by the Associated Press three times.

I.C. Murrell: 721-2435. Twitter: @ICMurrellPANews

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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