Ware + West = Less Charles?

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Thursday, March 31, the Kansas City Chiefs announced contract extensions for both running back options, #35 Charcandrick West and #32 Spencer Ware.

After a Jamaal Charles injury (ACL) early in the 2015 season, West and Ware became the first choice options, splitting time between each other and #34 Knile Davis. When West and Ware took over the RB spot, the team went on to have a record of 11-1 and entered the playoffs.

This kind of performance and record earned West and Ware almost identical contract extensions of about $3.6 million dollars, with a potential total value of $9.6 million dollars based off of total yards and touchdowns. Their contracts have been extended and they are now on the roster for three more seasons instead of two.

But what about Jamaal Charles?

The almost 30 year old, record-setting, running back suffered a torn ACL in the 2015 season, but is expected to be healthy and ready to go when training starts in July. What do these new RB contract extensions mean for his playing time?

There’s no question that Jamaal Charles is the obvious starter for this position. Averaging 5.5 yards per carry, and in and good season averages 5-12 touchdowns, Charles is certainly capable of dominating this position. Compared to West’s 4.0 yards per carry, Charles obviously is the better option. Ware is getting about 5.6 yards per carry, but only had 403 yards last season. West had 634 yards. Charles, in a good season, always averages over 1,000 yards.

But, Jamaal Charles will turn 30 years old in 2016 and has already had two ACL injuries. Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware will enter the 2016 season completely healthy, and both are only turning 25 this year.

Some reports are saying that these contract extensions look like the beginning of the end of Jamaal Charles’ career with the Chiefs. After all, he is supposed to make $12.3 million over the next two years, and if they could get rid of that, they could save and gain all at once. I don’t think we’ve seen the end of Jamaal Charles, but I do think it’s safe to say that the Chiefs are looking to open up their options. I think we should anticipate a running game that includes all three of these running backs.

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