On Tuesday night, news surfaced that Kansas City Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles is unhappy with his contract and planning a holdout to begin the team’s training camp. The Jamaal Charles contract situation take center stage beginning Wednesday, when veterans are set to report to camp.
Charles has two years remaining on his contract, so why is he planning a holdout?
To put it simply, he has severely outplayed the current terms of his deal.
Charles, who has been one of the most productive running backs in the NFL over the past two seasons, is a key part of the Chiefs offense.
Coming off of the best all-around season of his career, Charles is set to make just $2.65 million, a $1 million roster bonus and a few minimal workout bonuses.
That may sound like a lot of money, but not compared to other running back contracts around the league.
Jamaal Charles is scheduled to earn $3.9M this year, less than 13 other NFL RBs & about 1/3 of what Adrian Peterson ($12M) will make.
— Brian McIntyre (@brian_mcintyre) July 22, 2014
At just 27 years old, the time for Charles to cash in is now.
Next season, Charles will make $4.75 million (+ $1 million roster bonus). That is a nice uptick in pay, but he will still be vastly underpaid.
The problem for Kansas City is that they also have contract situations with linebacker Justin Houston and quarterback Alex Smith that they will need to work out.
For the team’s front office, it is crucial to figure out who deserves top priority so that they can begin working through the contract disputes.
To the outside eye, signing Charles should be priority No. 1.
Without Charles, Alex Smith would have even more pressure on his shoulders and the team would lack a dynamic playmaker. Struggling to move the chains is not a situation that Andy Reid and company will want to find themselves in.