The Kansas City Chiefs provided a high-profile platform for Darrel Wiliams to show what he can do, so why is he still a free agent?
This moment, this free agent period, felt like the one in which Darrel Williams might actually receive his due. Instead, this spring has turned into yet another moment in which the veteran running back is having to fight and scrap, albeit in a different way as a free agent back hoping to find a home for the 2022 season and beyond.
The idea of forcing people to turn their heads and pay attention to Williams is nothing new by now, and Chiefs Kingdom is likely already familiar with the story. Going back to his college days at LSU, Williams has never been the featured back or the talked-about name heading into any season. Yet time and again, he’s there waiting and ready to do exactly what the coaches ask, to do exactly what others could not or would not.
The Chiefs reached out and signed him as an undrafted free agent back in 2018 with the belief that there was a potential diamond in the rough at the next level. LSU is a high-profile program with acclaimed recruits coming in every season, and Williams’ draft stock had been lost in the process. The Chiefs gave him a window of opportunity to turn heads once again, and he stayed for the next four years.
In his four seasons in Kansas City, Williams went from a fringe roster player to lead back in the postseason. It was already a great story when he made the active roster during his rookie season—a tall order for any undrafted free agent—but it was something else when he became a significant part of the offense when it mattered the most.
Just last season, Williams had a breakout campaign in which he rushed 144 times for 558 yards and 6 touchdowns while also catching 47 catches for 452 yards and 2 more scores. That gave him just over 1,000 yards from scrimmage for the season and it felt like the ideal time as he hit free agency for the first time in his career. Williams’ persistence was going to be the sort of feel-good payday of which most players dream.
Unfortunately, more than two months after free agency opened, Williams is still waiting for the call. And if you wonder how he’s doing with it all, check out his latest tweet from Monday:
At this point it’s silly for Williams to have to say anything at all to make teams pay attention. He’s a tough runner, a capable blocker, and a surprisingly effective pass catcher who was able to come up with something like this.
While the Chiefs have clearly moved on with the addition of free agent Ronald Jones, formerly of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and the drafting of Isiah Pacheco, a seventh round pick out of Rutgers. However, Williams would be a strong addition to any backfield with plenty left in the tank and championship experience to boot. Here’s hoping Williams finds a home soon, one with the sort of payday that rewards him properly for his ability to climb with the best of them.