The Kansas City Chiefs have players such as Patrick Mahomes, Chris Jones, and Joe Thuney that are taking up good chunks of salary cap space (and deservingly so). But the defending Super Bowl champions also have a fair share of players that are worth way more than they are getting paid.
Among those players is second-year running back Isiah Pacheco, who Seth Trachtman of YardBarker believes is the NFL’s most underpaid running back.
“A seventh-round pick last year, Pacheco emerged as the starting running back for the Super Bowl champion Chiefs,” Trachtman wrote on May 25. “He’s set to make less than $900,000 this season and looking to capitalize on a season in which he finished with 960 yards from scrimmage and five touchdowns.”
Among the players that had similar production on the ground compared to Pacheco during the 2022 season but are getting paid a lot more money are New Orleans Saints’ Alvin Kamara (five years, $75 million), Detroit Lions’ David Montgomery (three years, $18 million), and Arizona Cardinals’ James Connor (three years, $21 million). Meanwhile, Pacheco’s four-year rookie deal will pay him a total of $3.79 million, which ranks 84th among all running backs based on total contract value according to Over The Cap.
With a strong grasp of the starting duties heading into the 2023 season, Pacheco has a chance to surpass his production from the 2022 season, as he only officially became the team’s starting running back in Week 7 of last season. With this in mind, Kansas City next season could potentially have a 1,000-yard rusher on their hands — which the league in total had 16 of last season — and get so at an average of just under $1 million per season. That’s value at its finest.
Creed Humphrey Named Most Underpaid Center
Along with Isiah Pacheco, Chiefs third-year center Creed Humphrey was also named by YardBarker as the NFL’s most underpaid center.
Humphrey is coming off of a season in which he was PFF’s highest-graded center (89.9), just ahead of Philadelphia Eagles All-Pro Jason Kelce (89.4). Yet, Humphrey’s four-year, $5.5 million rookie contract ranks 30th among all center contracts in the NFL based on total value.
After being in the running for Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2021 and following it up with an All-Pro campaign in 2022, it’s clear that Humphrey is worth way more than his rookie deal is paying him. Luckily for the Chiefs, Humphrey can’t negotiate a new deal until after the 2023 season.
When the two parties do sit down to discuss a new deal, the Chiefs would be wise to give Humphrey whatever he wants. He’s arguably the best center in the NFL, is only 25 years old, and the team has a superstar quarterback they need to protect for years to come.
Andy Reid Gives Update on Isiah Pacheco, Trent McDuffie
Speaking to the media after Day 3 of organized teams activities (OTAs) on May 24, Chiefs head coach Andy Reid was asked about Isiah Pacheco and second-year cornerback Trent McDuffie, who were both present for OTAs but did not participate in them.
“Yeah, exactly. Both of them,” Reid said when asked if those players being sidelined was just precautionary. “I can’t get into all the injuries but yeah, they’re just going easy. (We’re) easing them back.”
With two more sets of OTAs set to take place over the next two weeks followed by mandatory minicamp, the Chiefs’ coaching staff is clearly in no rush to throw Pacheco and McDuffie onto the practice field if they are dinged up.