Running Backs A-Go-Go

(Fresh off of adding a weekly dose of Chris Kolb of K.C. Chiefs Fanatic, we’re adding another member to our staff. Yes, we are hellbent on being the best NFL team blog on the Net…and global domination. CurtMerzFan is a longtime commenter and fan of the Chiefs who offers a unique opinion on the Chiefs, one which views the franchise through the prism of their history. CMF is also a musician, and I think his unique talents will be a great fit. Let’s welcome him to A.A. along with Chris! – Adam)

Well if the Chiefs‘ pre-season has taught us anything it’s we are inundated with at least three above average running backs – one already a superstar (LJ), and two others (Kolby and Charles) beating down the door. We also have two more that will most certainly not clear the waiver wire to make it onto the practice squad. What to do… what to do?

I say we can keep four of the five on the active roster if we give the return job to Savage. So, how do we do that without exposing Julian Battle to the waiver wire?

I really think we should explore the possibility of trading Larry Johnson.

Now, before all of you fall over dead from apoplexy, listen closely to my reasons. We absolutely will lose Julian Battle if we try to slip him through to the practice squad. LJ is the oldest of the five, and he costs us the most against the salary cap. Also, while KC gave him a pretty fat deal last year… in terms of today’s contracts, it’s fairly reasonably priced. In spite of his large load two of the last three years, he’s a low mileage guy for the time he’s been in the league, and he’s proven he can carry a team on his back if they have a decent offensive line. He is signed through the end of the current CBA, so there will not be a problem with him if the CBA expires and the league goes into a uncapped year. All of this makes LJ an attractive addition on several levels.

If we could get a decent young offensive lineman, a 2009 1st round pick, as well as a 4th or a 5th round pick for Larry Johnson, I think we should seriously consider pulling the trigger on that deal. There are certainly teams around the league who believe they’re ready to contend for a Super Bowl this year, but do not have a back as talented as LJ. I believe we might be able to find a taker.

Trading LJ would open up a ton of dollars under the cap, and would allow us to start Kolby and bring Charles in for the change of pace. It will relieve the pressure of getting all three of them enough touches, and it will give us the opportunity to better develop Battle and Savage in real time game situations. It’s not a deal I would make without a lot of thought, but it solves the problem of losing one of our fine young backs to a numbers game.

What does everyone else think?

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