That didn’t last long. Despite threatening to hold out, Jamaal Charles didn’t stay away from training camp for more than a day, as the Kansas City Chiefs quickly responded to his desire for more money with a new $18 million contract extension.
Charles was set to enter the 2014 NFL season as arguably one of the most underpaid running backs in the entire NFL, as he was primed to see $3.9 million. That was good for $11 million less than the league leader at the position, Adrian Peterson. Charles was still far below several other elite running backs, as some of the league’s top backs made less than Peterson but still had annual salaries in the $7-9 million range.
The Chiefs wasted no time in vaulting Charles into the range appropriate for his talent and production, as they extended his contract by two years for the $18 million. Charles is now signed on to stay in Kansas City through the 2017 NFL season.
While Charles is a big name and probably deserved a pay raise on his sheer talent alone, his 2013 season was a huge reason why the Chiefs couldn’t say no to a bump up in payment. Charles was Kansas City’s offense a year ago, as he touched the ball over 320 times (70 receptions), accumulated over 1,900 total yards and scored 19 total touchdowns.
Not only was Charles one of the most efficient running backs in the league last year, but he’s been one of the most consistent performers to play at an elite level at his position throughout his career. In fact, Charles averaged a ridiculous 5.0 yards per carry in 2013 on 259 rushing attempts, giving him a yards per carry average of 5.0 or greater in every single season he’s been in the league.
On top of his 2013 and career production, Charles was set to once again be the face of Kansas City’s offense in 2013. With no key additions made on offense by the Chiefs during the offseason, Charles was slated for another huge role (if not potentially bigger) and he understandably wanted to get paid appropriately.
The good news here is that there was no real hold out (it lasted a day) and the Chiefs wasted no time in showing their best offensive weapon how much he means to them. The new deal makes Charles the league’s second highest-paid running back, behind only the aforementioned Peterson.