Ex-Chiefs Super Bowl Star Signs 1-Year Deal With Bears

Damien Williams Chiefs

Getty Former Chiefs RB Damien Williams

The Kansas City Chiefs caused waves amongst its fanbase last week with the sudden release of seventh-year running back Damien Williams, a move that “stunned” the Super Bowl LIV hero.

Just a few days later, the former Chiefs starter has landed on his feet with a new team.

According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport on Wednesday, Williams has agreed to a one-year deal with the Chicago Bears, whose head coach, Matt Nagy, spent five seasons on Andy Reid’s staff between 2013-17. Terms of the deal have not yet been made public.

While Williams didn’t arrive in Kansas City until the 2018 season, Nagy’s system in Chicago — not to mention Williams’ connection to new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor — will have enough carryover to make the overall transition easier.

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Williams Hasn’t Played Since Super Bowl LIV

There were a number of factors that went into the decision for Brett Veach and the Chiefs front office to part ways with Williams. Among them were age (turns 29 on April 3), salary cap savings ($2.2 million), the presence of 2020 first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire and the fact that Williams hasn’t seen live action since February 2020.

The formerly undrafted running back opted out of playing last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more specifically, to protect his cancer-stricken mother, his wife Lilly and young daughter.

“It was hard,” Williams told SiriusXM NFL Radio last July, via CBS Sports. “My mom is my rock, my everything … My mom, she just was like, ‘Whatever decision (you make), I’m behind you.’ … Football is my life, especially coming off a championship and wanting to do a repeat — which, you know, I know they’re gonna handle that. But at the end of the day, this was something personal.”

Instead, Williams’ stint in Kansas City was cut short after three seasons and 27 games (nine starts), during which time he compiled 1,127 scrimmage yards (753 rushing), 53 receptions and 13 touchdowns, including a season-long 91-yard scamper in 2019.

Damien Williams' 2019 Season Highlights | Kansas City ChiefsRelive some of the best plays from running back Damien Williams during the Chiefs 2019 season. Subscribe for more videos! bit.ly/2OuOUnB More Chiefs NFL action! bit.ly/2Moa1VR #KansasCityChiefs #Chiefs #NFL #ChiefsHighlights Follow Our Social Media! Website: chiefs.com/ Facebook: facebook.com/KansasCityChiefs Twitter: twitter.com/Chiefs Instagram: instagram.com/chiefs2020-01-27T20:00:05Z

Bears Backfield Talented, but Crowded

Even if Williams had returned to Kansas City in 2021, the path to significant playing time between Edwards-Helaire, Darrel Williams and Darwin Thompson may have proven difficult. Unfortunately, he may have the same issue in Chicago, though his dual-threat ability as a pass-catcher ought to benefit him in the Windy City as well.

He now joins a crowded Bears running back group headed up by 2019 third-rounder David Montgomery — who has rushed for nearly 2,000 yards and 14 scores in his first two years — and All-Pro scatback Tarik Cohen. Williams could also be counted on to replace the production of Cordarrelle Patterson, who is currently an unrestricted free agent after two seasons with the club.

As The Athletic’s Dan Pompei pointed out on Twitter, “Williams gives the Bears two things: a change of pace from David Montgomery and Tarik Cohen, and a back who can carry the load for a spell if Montgomery cannot.”


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!

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