December 15, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles (25) scores a 71-yard touchdown against Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Miles Burris (56) during the third quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Will Kansas City Chiefs Running Back Jamaal Charles Hold Out in 2014?


Something has been bugging me for awhile about Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles. A couple of weeks ago, he did an interview with Danny Parkins at 610 Sports in Kansas City. The final question of that interview, Parkins asked Charles if he was happy with his current contract.

I won’t speak on contract stuff. I’m happy being a Chief and I want to retire as a Chief. I just go out an play football. – Jamaal Charles

As I listened to the interview, Charles sounded a bit put off by the question. And that got me thinking. What if Charles is planning on holding out this season?

I’m not trying to start a fire or give you a “the sky is falling” scenario, but there’s the distinct possibility that Charles could demand a new contract. I took a look at what Charles is scheduled to make this year, and it doesn’t give me any kind of good feeling.

In 2011, Charles signed a five-year deal worth $27 million. That deal included a $6.7 million signing bonus, an annual $250,000 workout bonus as well as a $1 million roster bonus after 2013. $18.1 million of the contract was guaranteed money, most of which Charles has already received. Does that seem like a lot? He’s not even in the top ten in the league. I did a quick check of other running backs who have current contracts. What I found made my stomach turn.

In 2012, the Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson signed a seven-year $100 million contract with $36 million in guaranteed money making him the highest paid player in that position. The oft-injured Darren McFadden of the Oakland Raiders inked a six-year $60 million with $26 million guaranteed money in 2008 which will expire this year. Finally, the pint-sized Super Bowl XLVII Champion running back Ray Rice of the Baltimore Ravens signed a new four-year $40 million with $24 million guaranteed in 2012. All of these backs — and a whole lot more — make more money than Charles, yet he’s a much better player than them, at least in 2014.

Charles was arguably the best — though the NFL and Associated Press said second best — offensive player in the league this year. He tallied 19 total touchdowns and finished the year just 20 yards shy of 2,000 total yards from scrimmage in both the rushing and passing game. Adding a Pro-Bowl appearance and being voted at the NFL’s Fantasy Player of the Year just ups his stock. To say he doesn’t deserve the pay check is ludicrous. However, he couldn’t have picked a worse year to have his break out season.

With the Chiefs sitting in cap hell, there will be hardly room in the budget to pay players who general manager John Dorsey wants to bring back and draft picks. As it is, the Chiefs will barely make a ripple in free agent — in huge contrast to the splash they made last year. There is absolutely no money to pay players already under contract.

I’m hoping that Charles believes in the “family” mantra the Chiefs locker room touted all last season. He said he wants to retire a Chief and play football, so hopefully he can put his money where his mouth is…or something like that.

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Tags: Jamaal Charles Kansas City Chiefs

  • Huskykidd

    He said he wants to be a Chief and retire as a Chief. Is it too hard to believe that every football player isn’t completely obsessed with money? He’s happy where he is.

    • bob saget

      i think itll depend on him and what kind of life style he lives and sees himself living the rest of his life, really if you live a modest life style 10 million in your bank should get you till the day you die, but if he wants to live the lavish life then 10 million can last one year

  • bill w

    If he holds out I wouldn’t be upset at all….he deserves it. Even though there isn’t much cap room the Chiefs need to find a way to pay that man

  • Michael Shaw

    Holding out doesn’t seem like his style, but stranger things have happened. I mean we went 9-0 last year!!!

  • micah stephenson

    I hear a lot of Jabs thrown at Pioli but I can say he was not gone over pay anybody.

    • kcndaock

      No he did work out nice contracts and penny pinched but look at the products he put on the field because of being stubborn. Sometimes u gotta spend to recieve.

    • toperspective

      What about Cassel, Breaston, Routt…. Pioli, along with Hunt preferred the cash to go to the bottom line rather than football players. Surprised to hear that you are a Pioli defender.

  • kcndaock

    Jamal seems to be a good dude. Seriously a good dude. Think about all the bs in his career behind LJ and then comes in washed up t.Jones who was always the number 1 back. ( still makes no since) 2010 was his break out year. He’s just continues to keep playing at a high level. When pioli inked him he was still shining and took a contract that would help his team.I think nationally he’s finally getting noticed and well deserved. I had a buddy calk me just to ask how long Charles had been in the league cause he’s never heard of him till this year and was wondering why. The more attention he gets the more endorsements will come his way that will equal big money. I do believe he needs to be in the top 5 on the team instead of flowers and Jackson. Then again let’s be real he’s made a lot of money and will get another big contract. Don’t be stupid and hold out and come game time tear an acl like it happened in 2011 with the players union bs everyone went through. Be level headed and show that your mature and deserve a big payday until then don’t be the NFL’s next diva

  • e_racer

    Yeah, it sounds like you are digging up dirt. I will believe it when I see it. However, it is a problem next year. The Chiefs don’t have a lot of options next year. They will begin to get some cap relief in 2016.

  • Michael Lizalde

    He shouldn’t be given the chance to hold out. This year and next year he is taking a good chunk of cap space, however still friendly for his performance. We can extend him, give him guaranteed money because that’s what matters and all should be good. At the same time lowering his cap hit for the next 2 to 3 years. Seems like a no brainier to me.