Fresh off their second Super Bowl victory in four years, the Kansas City Chiefs are retooling and gearing up for a run to repeat as champions. It hasn’t been done since the Patriots won Super Bowls 38 and 39 but with reigning NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes leading the way, the Chiefs have as good a chance as any team has to go back-to-back.
A team coming off championship season usually isn’t hard-pressed to make significant upgrades. The Chiefs can’t stay complacent though, and they knew that. Just a couple of weeks into the offseason, the Chiefs have already made several key moves for 2023 and beyond. Kansas City signed Jawaan Taylor to improve the offensive line and struck deals with three impact players on the defensive side of the ball, adding Charles Omenihu, Mike Edwards and Drue Tranquil.
That many additions come with subtractions though. The Chiefs shocked some when they released Frank Clark prior to the start of the new league year. If they were to trade running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, however, that should not come as a surprise.
Chiefs trade RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire for a mid-late round pick.
The Chiefs took Clyde Edwards-Helaire with the final pick in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He immediately was thrust into the starting lineup and shined in his debut, rushing for 138 yards and a touchdown.
After that, Edwards-Helaire struggled to replicate the success of his debut. Despite sticking as the starting running back for one of the best offenses in football, Edwards-Helaire topped 100 yards just once more in 2020 and accounted for five total touchdowns in 13 games.
Edwards-Helaire remained the starting running back in 2021, but more of the same ensued. He was only able to suit up in 10 games due to injury and when he was on the field he lacked production. While he did only get 12 rushing attempts per game, Edwards-Helaire rushed for less than 50 yards in six of his 10 games, scoring six total touchdowns for the season.
The Chiefs still held faith in Edwards-Helaire entering the 2022 season but did add a backup in Isiah Pacheco via the draft. Edwards-Helaire retained his starting job to begin the season and scored two receiving touchdowns in a Week 1 win. Kansas City shied away from the run early in the season though, with Edwards-Helaire getting less than double-digit carries in five of the Chiefs’ first six games.
Edwards-Helaire’s starting job in Week 7. Pacheco was handed the reins and despite his first two games as a starter (combined 13 carries for 48 yards), the Chiefs stuck with the rookie for the rest of the season, and he delivered. Pacheco averaged over five yards a carry in the final nine games of the season and Edwards-Helaire found himself on the sidelines again because of an injury from Week 12 on.
Pacheco continued to dazzle in the playoffs, averaging 5.32 yards per carry during the Chiefs’ Super Bowl run. He ran for 76 yards and a score in the Super Bowl, leaving little doubt that he was the starting running back for Kansas City in 2023.
There’s a chance the Chiefs hang onto Clyde Edwards-Helaire to serve as Pacheco’s backup in 2023. If a team calls for his services though, it wouldn’t hurt Kansas City one bit to listen to an offer. It’s hard to determine Edwards-Helaire’s trade value, but with just one year remaining on his rookie deal, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if a team offers a 5th-7th round pick to take a flier on him.
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