July 22, many Kansas City Chiefs fans were feeling anxious about what would happen when Jamaal Charles announced he was considering not attending training camp without a negotiation of his contract. Going into Tuesday, Charles’ contract he signed back in 2010 was showing a salary of $3.65 million. He didn’t have to wait long to be renegotiated into being the second highest paid running back in the league.
Charles isn’t the first name that has been thrown out for wanting a contract negotiation. Two of the biggest names being thrown out are current quarterback Alex Smith and linebacker Justin Houston. Both are impact players to the team and had a hand in leading the team from worst to first and into post season play. So why did Charles have his contract negotiated so quickly while other players have been in the news for months wanting to negotiate? Let’s break that down.
According to Marc Sessler, NFL Sports Writer, Charles accounted for 35% of the offense last season. Let’s be honest, in some games it felt like much more than that. When the Chiefs traveled to Oakland to take on the Raiders in week 15 Jamaal Charles scored 4 of the 8 touchdowns that game. And we can’t forget that the man’s name was brought up multiple times when the talking about the MVP.
Charles isn’t only a threat in his position at running back, but the man can also run down field and catch the ball as well, if not better, than the wide receivers on the team. Charles’ final stats for last year show 1,287 rushing yards, 1,980 yards from scrimmage, and 19 total touchdowns. To show a comparison let’s look at a favorite running back around the league, Adrian Peterson. Peterson rushed for 1,266 yards, 1,437 yards from scrimmage, and 11 touchdowns. Let that sink in. The only player to have more yards from scrimmage than Charles was LeSean McCoy by only 166 yards. Did Charles deserve a payday? Yes. Hands down.
There is much debate over which player should be negotiated with next. Smith has been trying to negotiate for several weeks and the two sides cannot come to an agreement. Houston feels deserving of the deal Hali received a couple years ago. There is always that little thing called the franchise tag hanging out in the background that could be used on one of these players if the negotiations are not agree upon. The big question is do the Chiefs have enough salary cap space after Charles to make all three deals? According to salary cap analyst Joel Corry the Chiefs entered this season with $9.4 in cap space. Corry has said, “You can get all three deals done. You can do Houston with Tamba parameters, so even if you gave hime $17.5 million as signing bonus, it’s doable.”
Some good news coming from all the salary negotiations is both Houston and Smith are currently at Missouri Western for training camp. With the first preseason game just around the corner, Thursday, August 7, Chiefs fans can rest a little easier knowing that there is some positive vibes underneath the money battles.