The Kansas City Chiefs cut legend Jamaal Charles early in the offseason, and on Tuesday he signed with a hated rival, the Denver Broncos.
Kansas City Chiefs’ fans completely lost their minds when the news broke that running back Jamaal Charles signed with the Denver Broncos. The reason isn’t because Charles wants to keep playing the game he loves, so he took what an NFL team offered him. It’s because he joined a hated rival of Kansas City.
To Chiefs fans, Charles’ 2017 will go one of two ways. Those who predict doomsday say that a healthy and electric Charles will lead Denver to the promise land while rushing for 2,000 yards and trucking Kansas City both times they play. The other side notes that dressing for eight games in two years means Charles is done and won’t make it to training camp. The fact is, there is a lot of gray area.
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Charles could have a fine year and the Broncos could still sputter and miss the playoffs. He could struggle behind a suspect offensive line and fail to reach 500 yards. He could be leaned on too much and fall to another injury. That’s the catch about the NFL: The butterfly effect constantly plays a role. You know, that whole “inches” speech by Al Pacino. (NSFW Language in linked video.)
The whole situation puts fans in a very sour mood. Especially after hearing Charles’ comments following the signing, per Pro Football Talk. What fans might fail to remember is that Kansas City cut the running back when he thought he could still contribute. It wasn’t amicable. Charles still wanted to play for the Chiefs and believes he can play at a high level. He now has an opportunity to prove that.
I cannot find fault with someone who wants revenge on the team that no longer had faith he could get the job done. Charles may have even felt he could have contributed in 2016. Andy Reid did not want to risk more serious injury. The Chiefs were able to win games without him, so they felt he was expendable. If Charles comes back and runs through the Chiefs defense on the way to a division title, fans have no one to blame but the Chiefs. If Charles struggles to make the team or gets injured again, then no harm no foul (though we obviously don’t wish injury on anyone).
Charles gave fans a reason to come to the stadium during the Matt Cassel years. He remains the Chiefs all-time leading rusher. He was a leader when one of his best friends shot himself in the stadium parking lot. Charles loved the fans in Kansas City.
And if he makes it to Oct. 30 to return to Arrowhead, then the crowd should give him a standing ovation. Then they should taunt and boo until their throats are sore whenever he touches the ball. After all…