April 19, 2024

Chiefs to re-sign running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire

Clyde Edwards-Helaire did not pan out as a Kansas City Chiefs starter, and the team found much better value in recent seventh-rounder Isiah Pacheco. But the two-time defending Super Bowl champions still have the 2020 first-round pick in their plans.

Despite losing his starting job midway through his rookie contract, Edwards-Helaire will stay with the Chiefs. The sides reached an agreement on a one-year deal Tuesday, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reported. This move comes at a rather interesting point, as J.K. Dobbins is in Kansas City for a visit today.

Pacheco became a pivotal investment for the Chiefs, and the Rutgers alum commandeered the starting job during his rookie season. The move helped the team cover for an apparent miss on Edwards-Helaire, whom it chose shortly after winning Super Bowl LIV four years ago. 

Edwards-Helaire still worked as Kansas City’s top backup RB last season, starting in place of Pacheco in three games. The LSU alum averaged only 3.2 yards per carry, however, finishing with 223 yards and a touchdown in 2023.

Viewed as a potential multipurpose weapon alongside Patrick Mahomes in 2020, Edwards-Helaire totaled 138 yards in his debut and then put together a 161-yard performance against the Bills five weeks later. But injuries and fumbling issues plagued the former SEC talent. 

Edwards-Helaire started in Super Bowl LV and entered the 2021 season as Kansas City’s top back, but the 5-foot-7 ball carrier saw Jerick McKinnon take over as the team’s top receiving back late in 2021 as more injury trouble intervened for the younger player. McKinnon held that role over the following two seasons.

Pacheco and McKinnon became the Chiefs’ primary backs in 2022, as Edwards-Helaire played in only 10 games. Edwards-Helaire did not play during the 2022 playoffs. 

Despite being activated off IR for Super Bowl LVII, Edwards-Helaire was a healthy scratch against the Eagles. He played in all four Chiefs playoff games last season but only logged two carries combined between the AFC championship game and Super Bowl LVIII.

This signing would seem to impact Dobbins’ chances of catching on with the Chiefs, with McKinnon also unsigned. The veteran back, who has stabilized his career in Missouri after missing two full seasons previously, has made a habit of re-signing with the Chiefs after the draft. 

McKinnon, however, missed six straight games before being activated for Super Bowl LVIII. The 2014 draftee would also be going into his age-32 season in 2024. It remains to be seen if McKinnon will be back, but Edwards-Helaire will vie for the Chiefs’ RB2 role soon.