Ronald Jones signing gives KC Chiefs a loaded backfield

The Kansas City Chiefs apparently liked what they saw on a recent free agent visit from Ronald Jones, because a new report from Nate Taylor of The Athletic confirms an earlier report from the Arrowhead Live Twitter account that the running back has signed with the team.

The Chiefs hosted Jones on a recent visit along with wide receiver Marquez Valdez-Scantling on a whirlwind of a Wednesday that featured a trade of Tyreek Hill—a move that spun the heads of everyone in Chiefs Kingdom.

Jones is a former second-round pick out of USC for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the 2018 NFL Draft. (Remember that former Chiefs RB coach Deland McCullough worked with Jones in SoCal.) Over the last four seasons in Tampa Bay, Jones has won a Super Bowl alongside Tom Brady and has rushed for 4.5 yards/carry.

The Kansas City Chiefs have signed Ronald Jones as a tandem partner for Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the backfield.

Jones’ addition is a solid one for the Chiefs’ backfield given that both Jerick McKinnon, who was a late-year wonder for the team in ’21, and Darrel Williams, who has been a steadily improving performer for years, hit free agency this season. That leaves Clyde Edwards-Helaire as the team’s lone proven back, and even he comes with significant questions about his ability to stay healthy and/or handle a lead-back role for 17 games and beyond.

The Chiefs did invite back Derrick Gore for another season as an exclusive rights free agent and he’s shown the ability to get outside on occasion. The team also has Brenden Knox in the mix to go with returning fullback Michael Burton. But even with all of these pieces and an optimistic roster outlook, there’s a need for multiple additions.

Jones provides the Chiefs with someone who has handled a significant workload in years past (especially in 2020 when he gained 978 yards on only 192 carries) and yet is not even 25 years old. Together with Edwards-Helaire, they should handle the bulk of work out of the backfield. Still, look for the Chiefs to add one more body to the mix through the draft if they find the right value.