There’s a saying in the NFL, “show me what you do once you get that paper.” This definitely holds true for Jamaal Charles after the Kansas City Chiefs agreed to his contract demands and re-upped the star running back until 2017 at a contract of $18.1 million. Charles has long been a fantasy stud and at 27 years old and behind a solidified offensive line could be poised for record breaking years in the foreseeable future.
For Chiefs fans though, success isn’t determined by fantasy football numbers. This is a passionate fanbase that is long overdue for a trip to the AFC Championship game. Arrowhead Stadium is one of the toughest places to play in December and January, it’s just that too many games have been meaningless that time of year in the recent past. Kansas City brass hope the locking up of Charles is the first step in competing regularly with the Denver’s and New England’s of the football world.
A Heavy Workload Once Again
Charles is only 27 and entering his 7th NFL tour in 2014 but in running back years he’s been eligible for AARP for 3 years now. At an age when many rock-handlers are supposed to be winding down, Charles is maintaining nicely. After missing all but two games in 2011 with a knee injury, Charles has rattled off consecutive rushing years of 1,509 and 1,287 yards with an NFL leading 12 rush TD’s in 2013. Charles also added 70 receptions a season ago and looks to continue that pass-catching role again in 2014.
Charles could be considered a young 27 considering he missed almost a full year and carried the ball sparingly his first two years. The running back has stated he wants to be productive well into his early 30’s but at his current workload. Most teams have opted to go with a two-running back approach or employ a specialist like Darren Sproles to handle their 3rd down pass-catching or a power back to handle goal-line and short yardage situations. For the most part Charles is a full-time back, although that could change with the Chiefs drafting speedsterDe’Anthony Thomas the running back from Oregon.
High Fantasy Expectations
Even Charles has said that he wouldn’t mind a reduced workload at times. He told the USA Today that there are games when he wants 20-25 touches but others where 11 are more in his workload. This is not the kind of talk fantasy owners want to hear as he’s listed as a top 3 player for the 2014 season. That being said Charles has 8.3 million reasons to prove himself this year and none of them are fantasy players.
The Chiefs rely on Charles perhaps like no other team shoulders a load on a single running back and by all accounts he’s ready to reward their trust in him.