The Kansas City Chiefs have had the Denver Broncos’ number for the last half-decade, compiling an 11-1 regular season record against their AFC West foe since 2015. Now, an opportunity has opened for the AFC champions to land one of Denver’s most productive skill players and feel-good stories in recent years: Phillip Lindsay.
After the Broncos surprisingly elected to tender the two-time 1,000-yard rusher with only an original-round offer on Monday — compared to the second-round tender many were expecting — it now appears the sides have decided to part ways.
On Thursday morning, Linsday’s agent, Mike McCartney took to Twitter saying in part, “After great conversations with the Broncos, it’s been mutually decided that rescinding the RFA Tender is best for both Phillip Lindsay and the team.”
Shortly after, Lindsay and the team confirmed the decision on their respective Twitter accounts.
UPDATE: According to McCartney on Friday, Lindsay has agreed to a one-year deal with the Houston Texans.
ALL the latest Chiefs news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Chiefs newsletter here!
Chiefs Would ‘Welcome Lindsay With Open Arms’
With the Broncos rescinding their initial offer to keep Lindsay in Denver for the 2021 season, the fourth-year running back is now free to sign with any team of his of choosing. According to Cecil Lammey of 104.3 The Fan in Denver, the Chiefs make a ton of sense as a landing spot for the former undrafted Colorado native.
“I talk to enough people around the NFL to know that Phillip Lindsay is going to get plenty of attention now that he’s tendered original round RFA. One person today told me #Chiefs would ‘welcome Lindsay with open arms’ and ‘know what to do w/him,” Lammey tweeted late Tuesday.
While Lindsay is certainly an interesting piece for the Chiefs’ consideration, Thursday’s developments mean more competition is likely for his services on the open market. As expected, the free agent running back market isn’t exactly booming, but a starting point for Lindsay’s next contract may have already been established by ex-Green Bay Packers backup Jamaal Williams.
The soon-to-be 26-year-old had played second fiddle to starter Aaron Jones for the last four seasons — albeit effectively with at least 674 total yards and three scores each year — and earlier this week (perhaps ironically) signed a two-year, $7.5 million deal with his former division rivals, the Detroit Lions.
Where Would Lindsay Fit in Chiefs’ Backfield?
The 26-year-old Lindsay tallied 2,485 scrimmage yards (2,048 rushing), 17 touchdowns and a rookie Pro Bowl nod in his first two NFL seasons before the presence of Melvin Gordon and hip and knee injuries limited him to just 11 games and 530 total yards in 2020. Given his early success, Lindsay has made a name for himself despite being held back by his own organization at times and could be coveting a starting role elsewhere.
Although, if playing for a contender plays a more important factor in his decision, Lindsay would make for a solid one-two punch alongside 2020 first-rounder Clyde Edwards-Helaire, who figures to see an uptick in workload and production in his sophomore campaign. Earlier this week, the Chiefs further shook up their running back room by choosing to re-sign backup Darrel Williams in favor of Super Bowl LIV hero Damien Williams, who was “stunned” by his release on Tuesday.
Other current options in Kansas City’s offensive backfield include Darwin Thompson and, as of Thursday, former New York Jets running back Elijah McGuire, who spent the better part of the last two seasons on the team’s practice squad.
- Chiefs Re-Sign Breakout WR Candidate to New Deal: Report
- Chiefs Sign Patriots’ Star Lineman to Record-Setting 5-Year Deal: Report
- Chiefs Attempting to Trade for Eagles Pro Bowl Tight End: Report
Chris Licata is an NFL contributor covering the Kansas City Chiefs from enemy territory in Denver, Colorado. Follow him on Twitter @Chris__Licata or join the Heavy on Chiefs Facebook community for the latest out of Chiefs Kingdom!