The Kansas City Chiefs made a widely expected move on Tuesday, releasing running back Jamaal Charles. He has missed extensive time the past two seasons, and entering the final year of his contract, it was an easy decision to clear cap space. Charles has only played eight games in two seasons, but there is almost certainly a team that thinks he can be a solid complementary options for them.
The 49ers could certainly use a complement to Carlos Hyde, and Charles has been a great receiver at times coming out of the backfield. However, Mike Garafolo thinks Charles is inclined to sign with a team that has a serious chance at contending. He reported on Tuesday that Charles is “aiming for teams that were in the postseason last year, that he thinks have a legitimate Super Bowl chance this upcoming season.” Here is the full transcript of Garafolo’s comments:
“As far as Jamaal Charles goes, this is a guy right now who I am told number one on his list is going to be playing for a contender. So I know some people have made the connections between the Eagles and Doug Pederson and Charles, and also Chris Ballard now the general manager of the Colts having come over from the Chiefs, I get all that, but my impression from the people that I’ve talked to early on is he’s aiming a little higher. He’s aiming for teams that were in the postseason last year, that he thinks have a legitimate Super Bowl chance this upcoming season, so he’s going to start there and if the money matches up and some of these teams looking potentially for running back help, you could throw the Dallas Cowboys in there, they would be high on Jamaal Charles’ list for sure.”
The 49ers are coming off a 2-14 season in which most everything went wrong. I don’t think anybody would claim the 49ers are on the verge of contending. Maybe they hit a home run with every draft pick and free agent pick-up, but odds are pretty good this team has a ways to go in this rebuilding process.
They will have to overpay for some free agents, but with the additions of Kyle Shanahan and John Lynch, will that be enough to overcome previous perceptions? Money talks, but sometimes a veteran might be inclined to take slightly less to play for a contender. However, if a player is getting his first taste of free agency after his rookie contract, it is a little more difficult to figure out exactly what they want.
Winning is big for most players, but a chance at a huge pay day is certainly going to be noteworthy. However, with numerous teams having huge cap space, there might be more opportunities for big contracts for free agents in or entering their prime. I guess we’ll see next week how it shakes out for the rebuilding 49ers.