Marshall Faulk: Why would the Chiefs keep Jamaal Charles?


Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk thinks it may be time for the Chiefs to say goodbye to Jamaal Charles.

Faulk noted that the Chiefs went 11-1 after Charles suffered a season-ending torn ACL last year, and so he wonders why the Chiefs should keep Charles instead of moving on to their younger, cheaper running backs.

“The conversation is, ‘Why does Kansas City keep Jamaal Charles when you saw Spencer Ware and Charcandrick West? For what reason?’ ” Faulk told the Kansas City Star. “I can’t even see what reason they would continue to pay [him] if they have a way of getting up from under that contract and dispersing money elsewhere to fill some of the gaps that they have. And that’s just real talk — that’s the business of the game. I love Jamaal, and I think he could find another home. I think there’s a lot left in him. But looking at what went on when he went down in Kansas City, are his days possibly numbered there?”

Charles is set to cost $5.3 million against the Chiefs’ salary cap this year, while Ware is under contract for a $600,000 salary and West is an exclusive-rights free agent whom the Chiefs can keep for a $600,000 salary. The Chiefs also have Knile Davis under contract for $826,000. So from a cap-management perspective, Faulk’s idea makes a lot of sense.

At least, it makes sense in theory. In practice, Chiefs General Manager John Dorsey has said Charles will remain a Chief. So don’t expect the Chiefs to follow Faulk’s advice. Even though he raises a good question.

72 responses to “Marshall Faulk: Why would the Chiefs keep Jamaal Charles?

  1. Well other than that when healthy he can be the best running back in the league and when healthy can play wide reviever as well as any RB in the NFL. I’m a pats fan but I love Jamal watching that Monday night game that “ended” that pays season 2 years ago I think Jamal had 2 recovering touchdowns and a rushing touchdown and that’s with bull belicheck game planning to take away the Chiefs best weapon. I agree the salary cap relief would be nice but next year you just have to sign one of those backs to a long term deal and I would take Jamal over both of them.

  2. Because Charles is still one of the best RBs in the NFL, Marshall (coming from a Broncos fan).

    This makes me believe he didn’t actually watch much of the Chiefs this year. West is a very pedestrian rusher, and while Ware is pretty good, neither is the weapon Charles is.

  3. Chiefs fans have been secretly wondering the same thing since October. Glad you finally caught up Marshall.

  4. that’s a good point. RB’s are overrated for the most part. it’s the O Line that goes unnoticed most of the time.
    If O Lines don’t block, RB’s ain’t gonna run nowhere. Ask LT (with the chargers) and he’ll tell you

  5. When you consider what the Chiefs did without Charles, and the fact that he’s coming back from an injury, coupled with the fact that they can keep Ware, West, and Davis for less than half the cost of Charles alone, what Faulk says makes total sense. RB’s are largely interchangeable at the NFL level, other than the truly elite ones.
    And even the truly elite ones usually have a limited shelf life, especially once they start getting beat up and missing time with injuries.
    KC should strongly consider parting company with Jamaal Charles, be happy with what they have at RB at a reasonable price, and allocate the money saved elsewhere. WR comes to mind for them…

  6. 5 million is so little and this player SO good when healthy that it would be foolish to cut him for meager savings. If he was making like $12 million a year, sure, but you don’t release a guy like that at $5 million

  7. I’m not a big Marshall Faulk fan, but he makes a lot of sense here. It’s expensive to be sentimental, and I think that’s all it would be if the Chiefs kept Charles.
    If they trade/release him, Seattle or New England await.

  8. To answer your question Marshall, the CHiefs will keep Jamall for 3 reasons:
    1. If healkthy, Jamall is one of the games best game breaking backs
    2. Jamall is a CHIEF for Life
    3. Jamall is the Man.

    I hope that clears it up for you.

  9. 5 million dollars is cheap for a STAR runningback. You don’t get better by giving away your star players or cutting them.

    Before the season started JC was widely considered KC’s most valuable offensive player so just because the Chiefs went on a run without him doesn’t mean the team is better off without him unless Faulk believes the Pats should have gotten rid of Tom Brady the 2008 season he went down in the first game and Matt Cassel, who was a far cheaper option, lead the Pats to an 11-5 record to go with 2 to 1 td to int ratio.

  10. So you really think Spencer Ware, Charcandrick West and Knile Davis are all better than Charles? Marshall, whatever you’re smoking, pass it over so I can go on that exotic trip too.

    Of course, since the Chiefs are coming to Charlotte for a game next season, if they would like to be dumb enough to follow Marshall’s advice, we’d be happy to see them throw any of those backs out there to be swallowed whole by our interior D-line and linebackers.

  11. I’m a big fan of Jamal Charles but Faulk is right. This team was better without him. That probably has more to do with Andy Reid’s play calling than anything, but if they can’t figure out a way to get the same offensive production when he’s back in there, what’s the point of having him at all?

  12. If Charles was making 8-10 mil per year than Faulk’s assessment MIGHT carry more weight but 5.3 mil for arguably the best dual RB in football is a pretty darn good bargain IMO.

  13. jgedgar70 says:
    Feb 18, 2016 10:43 AM

    So you really think Spencer Ware, Charcandrick West and Knile Davis are all better than Charles? Marshall, whatever you’re smoking, pass it over so I can go on that exotic trip too.

    Of course, since the Chiefs are coming to Charlotte for a game next season, if they would like to be dumb enough to follow Marshall’s advice, we’d be happy to see them throw any of those backs out there to be swallowed whole by our interior D-line and linebackers.

    Nobody is scared of Carolina 🙂

  14. Why is everyone hating Marshall Faulk? I disagree with him cuz guys like AP are costing 11 million against the cap so Charles is a steal but Faulk isn’t Chris Carter or Deion Sanders

  15. After being wowed by a young Chris Johnson for two years (including seeing his most prolific game in person), I soon came to view Jamaal Charles as the elite running back that Chris Johnson should have become. That to say, Titans fans, who’ve witnessed a drought at running back for years, would welcome Jamaal Charles in Nashville with an enthusiasm only surpassed by the drafting of Marcus Mariota.

  16. edelmanfanclub says:
    Feb 18, 2016 9:42 AM

    Maybe bc he isnt as expandable as you were when the Rams got Steven Jackson.
    Right, Faulk expanded to the size of a blimp! OTH drafting Jackson didn’t make Faulk EXPENDABLE because he was close to retirement.

  17. Charles is definitely better than Ware and West and Charles should have a few more good years, but 5mil is 5mil. The Chiefs run game was still better than most without him so it would make sense to use the money elsewhere. Not sure why that is such a controversial opinion.

    It’s the law of diminishing returns. Is Charles better than West? Of course. Is he 10 times better? No. But he does cost 10 times more. This is why most teams are switching to RB-by-committee approach (much to the chagrin of everyone who plays fantasy). 2 no-name backs are say, 80% as good as a tier-1 bell cow running back, but they cost 10 to 20 times less and their, ahem, “disposable” nature insulates teams from the fact that RB is a very injury prone position. Even from a run game perspective, it’s simply safer to invest the money in your O-line.

    Out of the top 10 RBs in the NFL, how many of them completed a whole season without missing significant time? It just is what it is. It’s a passing league.

  18. It is easy to say when the 5 million is not your money. That being said, since the 5 million is not my money either he should sign with the Chip Kelly and the Niners. Charles is a better version of McCoy.

  19. ariani1985 says:
    Feb 18, 2016 9:45 AM
    Marshall is easily the worst RB to ever win a playoff game!
    My God man. I hope you’re 12 years old because that would make what you said somewhat understandable.

  20. Is the guy really wrong? 2 ACL tears now. He’s not getting any younger. You can find a guy to pick up the slack in the latter half of the draft. It was really a blessing in disguise for the Cheifs, it actually forced Andy Reid to let Alex Smith be a QB instead of a pylon who hands off. That $5mil can be spent elsewhere. Jamal Charles is still a good player, but retaining him just doesn’t make sense. As to the above guy, who asks “imagine how good they could be with him” 1-5 my friend, 1-5.

  21. Look up Charles’ stats, he might be one of the most underrated running backs of all-time. His yards per carry numbers are insane.

    On the NFL all-time YPC list, it’s two running quarterbacks, Marion Motley, then Jamaal Charles at 5.5 YPC. That’s .3 above the next back on the list… Jim Brown.

    He’s fourth all-time and sandwiched in between two Hall of Famers… he’s also .5 YPC above Gale Sayers and Barry Sanders.

    (So, that’s why you keep him Marshall)

  22. I parked Marshall’s car once at the golf club I worked at. There was a “cigarette” in his ash tray that was still burning a little bit. So i decided to put it out. The weird thing was there wasn’t a filter and it stuck to my fingers. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but my point is his thought process maybe a little fuzzy at times.

  23. Andy Reid had his offensive crutch injured last season and he and his staff had to plug the massive hole. I think the previous seasons, Charles was close to 40% plus of their offensive output.

    The fact that the Chiefs were semi-successful, using a pair of practice squad players for the next eleven games indicates only that Dorsey and Reid and his staff were able to identify and then coach up those running backs as well as play musical chairs with that offensively offensive line which they went to camp with in July 2015.

    Now KC knows what else they have in the way of weapons on the offensive side of the ball, maybe they won’t be so eager to run their bell cow into the ground. But a team doesn’t become better by trading one of their studs for peanuts or by cutting him to save a few million they can dole out to other positions on the team.

    Charles is a game changer when he’s healthy. Teams must game plan for where he’s at on the field. If they fail to do so, he can make them pay and go yard at any time.

    You don’t ‘cut’ someone like that and Faulk of all people should know that. (How’d he feel when Indy did it to him back in his day?)

    Knile Davis is the dude on the bubble in this scenario, not Jamaal Charles. Silly wabbits.

  24. Marshall Faulk is a pathetic waste of skin. Cry baby loser that acts like a child when he loses. The amount of heads that the Patriots are in is incredible!

  25. Jack Del Rio and the Raiders would be glad if the Chiefs did this and Charles signs with a team outside of the AFC West.

    He and LaDainian Tomlinson are two running backs I hated to watch because they could go the distance and score a TD against the Raiders each time they touched the ball.

  26. It’s really unfortunate to see Charles have to endure so many injuries, it’s eery in similarity to what Arian Foster goes thru each year as well. Both are phenomenal talents when on the field, sadly for both that they just keep have the same types of injuries recur. Thankfully for them both, they have both had large contract extensions and are set for life no matter what happens. I wish them both all the best, whatever they decide to do going forward.

  27. Charles is maybe the best dual threat RB in the league and is capable of breaking one every time he gets the ball. With the addition of Jeremy Maclin and Travis Kelce beginning to emerge as a top end TE, the passing game improved last season. If you add Charles to the mix, and he has fully recovered from the injury, the offense will be downright dangerous. He is also the best pass blocking RB on the team, which helps the o-line and keeps Alex Smith upright more often.

    The Chiefs are very capable of having a top 5 offense to go along with their top 5 defense. That is a recipe for a serious Superbowl run. They have the playoff losing streak off of their backs, so it’s time to take the next step, or two.

    I’m one excited Chiefs fan!

  28. They went 11-1 WITHOUT him, how can ANYONE argue that they absolutely need him? RB’s are expendable, period. To save that much money you have to drop him, its the smart play. Look at buffalo, drop 60 mil on McCoy…….and they cant even break .500. Its not all about the RB, its the system and the o-line. The fact is, the chief’s system doesnt need a $5 million dollar RB.

  29. He’s already better than you ever were Faulk. The numbers don’t lie.

    You keep him because he’s a top 3 back in the league, and has low mileage. He’s also very affordable.

  30. Jamaal loves Kansas City and those of other teams thinking the Chiefs will cut him is hilarious. It won’t be happening.

    Marshall Fulk is clueless. He also said he was sad for St. Louis losing the Rams however, no one really believes him.

    Charles will be a Chief for life.

  31. Faulk would’ve lost his mind if someone suggested this about him while he was active. Dudes get the HoF nod and suddenly become expert on every topic at hand.

  32. As a Chiefs fan I think Faulk is right. JC is done in KC.

    Good guy but the money angle makes sense with the other 3 guys under contract.

    Look for Charles to get traded at draft time.

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