Chiefs Trade Speculation Could Open the Door for Unexpected Reunion

Darrel Williams

Getty Arizona Cardinals running back Darrel Williams with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2021.

At least so far, a couple of Kansas City Chiefs free-agent signings have not worked out as expected.

One example is linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr., who was brought in to help fill the void created by the Anthony Hitchens release. After struggling to make an impact this summer, however, Carter could be cut.

Another is running back Ronald Jones II, who has been the subject of some heavy trade speculation heading toward the final roster cutdown on August 30. If the Chiefs do elect to move the newcomer for some sort of draft capital or player swap, a familiar face could be brought back to fill the reserve role in the running back room.

Jones Trade Could Set up Darrel Williams Reunion

On August 24, Pro Football Focus insider Doug Kyed tapped his sources for “potential surprise trade and cut candidates from around the NFL.” It just so happened that ex-Chiefs running back Darrel Williams was featured on Kyed’s shortlist.

“Williams is a curious case, but he was a player identified by multiple league sources as someone who could be a surprise cut or trade this summer,” Kyed began. “On one hand, his contract is cheap ($1.035 million) and guaranteed, and the [Arizona] Cardinals don’t have much in the way of running back depth with Williams, Eno Benjamin, rookie sixth-round pick Keaontay Ingram and Jonathan Ward behind starter James Conner.”

He continued: “On the other hand, Williams has played four snaps all preseason, Benjamin has started both preseason games, Ingram has impressed and Arizona likes Ward. The Cardinals would save less than $895,000 by trading Williams. Since his contract is guaranteed, if cut, they’d only recoup that money if he signed elsewhere.”

It wouldn’t really make sense for the Chiefs to trade Jones away, then flip draft capital back to Arizona for the former LSU ball carrier that they let walk in free agency. If he were to get released, however, Kansas City could bring Williams back on the cheap sometime after the 53-man deadline — in the event of an injury or a cleared roster spot.

If this were to happen, the former coaching staff favorite could eventually replace Jones as the fourth running back on the roster. After all, he already knows the system and has overperformed in that role in the past.

Derrick Gore Waived After Injury Settlement

Speaking of reserve running backs, it was confirmed that fan favorite Derrick Gore was waived with an injury settlement on August 25.

Charles Goldman of Chiefs Wire wrote that “it’s possible [Gore] rejoins the team at a later date when he is fully healthy.” He explained further: “This is a bit of a roster workaround that Brett Veach has done in the past (Gehrig Dieter in 2019) to subvert the NFL’s injured reserve rules. If you place a player on injured reserve prior to 53-man roster cuts, they’re not allowed to be designated to return during the season. Waiving them from injured reserve with an injury designation opens up the possibility that they can be re-signed and play.”

The journeyman halfback has since cleared waivers and hit the open market, although he won’t be allowed to sign anywhere for the early portion of the season.

At the very least, a Williams cut gives the Chiefs two decent reunion options if they end up dealing Jones or needing a running back later on. Both are experienced backups with knowledge of the way that head coach Andy Reid and offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy like to operate.

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