Heading into training camp, the Kansas City Chiefs were expected to have a strong competition among the running backs. But that competition has turned out to be much more fierce than previously anticipated.
The higher level of competition among the backs is mainly due to undrafted rookie Isiah Pacheco, who is grabbing national attention for his work on the ground, in the passing game, and pass protection during the first two weeks of training camp.
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Pacheco shining this summer puts players like veteran Ronald Jones II, who the Chiefs signed to a one-year, $1.5 million this offseason, on the roster bubble. Jones has struggled to stand out among the other running backs during training camp, which could make his stint in Kansas City short-lived. That’s why one analyst believes the defending AFC West champions could pull off a trade with a division rival to ship away Jones and get something in return.
Trade: Ronald Jones to Raiders?
NFL analyst Justin Melo of The Draft Network wrote about Jones potentially being on the trade block if he doesn’t prove his worth throughout Kansas City’s three preseason games. He suggests that the Las Vegas Raiders could be one of the teams the Chiefs could trade Jones to.
“Fourth-round rookie Zamir White may end up being the Raiders’ lead back before the dust settles on the 2022 season,” Melo wrote on August 11. “White was excellent in Thursday’s Hall of Fame game, carrying the ball on 11 occasions for a team-high 52 rushing yards. Former New England Patriot Brandon Bolden is also in the mix as a pass-catching back. Should Jacobs and/or Drake be released or traded, Jones may qualify as an intriguing buy-low replacement.”
Despite having an unusually high amount of reps during the Hall of Fame Game, Raiders head coach Josh McDaniels was adamant that Las Vegas has no intention of trading Jacobs. Drake is in line to be the team’s primary pass-catching back this season, so trading him away is not likely either. That’s why trading Jones to the Raiders is a long shot at this point.
Crazier scenarios have played out in the NFL, though.
Eric Bieniemy Reveals Thoughts on Jones
Speaking to the media after practice on Aug. 7, Chiefs offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy discussed what he’s seen from Jones thus far in training camp.
“RoJo (Ronald Jones) is doing a heck of a job,” Bieniemy said. “He’s obviously a big man, he’s done some good things running the football.”
Despite the praise, Bieniemy does believe Jones has some work to do before he’s the back Kansas City wants him to be.
“He just needs to continue becoming the football player we expect him to be because we expect our guys to do a lot from that running back position,” Bieniemy explained. “The thing that he’s done is he’s accepted the challenge and he’s doing things he really hasn’t done in the past.”
With the defending AFC West champions in their second week of padded practices, they are now prepping to face the Chicago Bears in their preseason opener. That game is set to take place at noon CST on Saturday, August 13, at Soldier Field in Chicago.
Head coach Andy Reid announced on Thursday, August 11 that Kansas City’s starters would play one quarter of football against the Bears. Jones is expected to be one of the running backs getting carries in that game. When those carries will take place in the game remains to be seen.