Chiefs Free-Agent RB Darrel Williams Visits With NFC Contender

Darrel Williams

Getty Former Kansas City Chiefs running back Darrel Williams on November 14, 2021.

As the offseason continues, so do the changes within the Kansas City Chiefs organization.

General manager Brett Veach decided to sign running back Ronald Jones II, a former second-round pick of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Paired with a former first-rounder like Clyde Edwards-Helaire, that didn’t leave much room for impending free agent Darrel Williams.

The writing was on the wall for the undrafted LSU product and a recent report from an NFL insider shed some light on where Williams might end up next.

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Cardinals Host Williams

On April 4, ESPN NFL insider Field Yates tweeted: “The Cardinals hosted RB Darrel Williams on a free agent visit. He’s been a solid player for the Chiefs the past four seasons.”

Heavy on Cardinals reporter Ryan Sanudo noted: “With the loss of running back Chase Edmonds to free agency, the Arizona Cardinals could flirt with adding a complement to Pro Bowl running back James Conner.”

Sanudo reminded later that only Eno Benjamin and Jaylen Samuels remain on the roster behind Conner, and Williams’ addition could provide a versatile dual-threat that has proven himself in both the run and pass game.

The four-year pro is coming off his best NFL campaign in a heightened role. Williams accumulated over 1,000 scrimmage yards for the first time in his career, with 558 yards on the ground and another 452 through the air. He scored eight total touchdowns as well, with an impressive 82.5% catch rate on the season.

At times, Williams was more effective in the Chiefs 2021 offense than Edwards-Helaire, but head coach Andy Reid has done a great job elevating the play of running backs over the years. Recent depth ball carriers like Damien Williams, Spencer Ware and Jerick McKinnon have all performed adequately in similar roles — if not better.

Now those duties will likely fall to Jones.

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Are the Chiefs Set at Running Back?

After tendering Derrick Gore and bringing in the aforementioned Jones, Veach and Reid may have all their horses in the stable.

Brenden Knox and Darwin Thompson are under contract as well, giving KC five rushing options to work with heading into the draft. Perhaps another late-round pick or an undrafted free agent enters the fold, or maybe management focuses on greater needs.

McKinnon is another free agent that’s still floating around. Williams may have priced himself out of a return, but the ex-Viking and Niner should still be affordable.

It’s possible the veteran signs a low-end deal after the draft, depending on how things go at the position. McKinnon was useful as a receiver and a special teamer when he played but was used sparingly overall.

He also missed a few games with a hamstring injury. Absences have been a common theme throughout McKinnon’s career, so it would not come as a surprise if the Chiefs looked to get younger at the position once again.


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