Jamaal Charles is a 29-year-old running back in the National Football League, coming off his second ACL surgery with no guaranteed money promised to him throughout the remainder of his two-year contract. Yet, Kansas City Chiefs general manager John Dorsey has zero interest in cutting him.
If that does not tell you the value of Charles, nothing ever will. On Tuesday, Charles wrote a blog post on his website and talked about the recovery process, his rehab and gave us some thoughts on the 2016 Chiefs. It’s a great piece, and I encourage all of you to go over there and read it.
We can see a few highlights here, including Charles’ musings on working out at Arrowhead Stadium with the team trainers and one of his teammates:
"I’ve been spending a lot of time working out with Phillip Gaines, who tore his ACL last season too. He had his surgery the week before I had mine, so I get to watch him and see how his knee is reacting to each workout. It’s good to get a look at where he is in his process, and then go from there with mine. We’ve both got somebody going through the same struggle as we are.It’s similar to how it was with Eric Berry and I, when I tore my other ACL. EB was going through the same process then and we were back-to-back each week. I’m back-to-back with Phillip right now. We know we’re in this together, so we watch each other’s backs."
This is very similar to when Derrick Johnson and Mike DeVito worked out and rehabbed all year after tearing their Achilles tendons in Week 1 of the 2014 season. We have seen ample quotes from both stating that without the other, they probably don’t play again.
Then, Charles talked about what he sees in the current team and his hopes for 2016:
"For me, not being a big part of that run was motivation. It didn’t discourage me. It definitely made me stronger, because I want that same kind of success, and more. I’m trying my hardest to come back next year stronger than ever, and to be a part of that, to participate in the same thing they did, so I can feel that feeling again. If we can just feed on that energy from last year, I think we can do something special in 2016."
It’s not a stretch to say Kansas City is one of the favorites to go to the Super Bowl. The team reached the AFC Divisional round last year and despite being without a host of important pieces – including Charles – only lost by seven points to the New England Patriots in Foxborough.
With Charles returning among others, plus another round of draft picks and free agency, this group has a chance to be very special.