The Kansas City Chiefs currently have a little over $10 million in cap space according to Over the Cap, and they could still be in the market for a big-money wide receiver, replacement defensive tackle, and a veteran backup at quarterback. That’s before you take into account a potential Chris Jones extension.
In other words, general manager Brett Veach could still be looking to clear some cap space considering he has 10 draft picks to work with in April. One obvious way to shed $2.085 million would be a Clyde Edwards-Helaire trade, and Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton went as far as to write that CEH “must be traded” during a March 19 article.
“In Super Bowl 57, Kansas City listed Edwards-Helaire as a healthy scratch, going with [Isiah] Pacheco, Jerick McKinnon and Ronald Jones at running back,” Moton reasoned. “Buried in the [Chiefs] running back rotation, Edwards-Helaire needs to go elsewhere for a bounce-back campaign. According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, some teams will eye the Chiefs ball-carrier as a trade option.”
Chiefs’ Clyde Edwards-Helaire Nets ‘Late-Round Pick’ in Seahawks Trade Proposal
This was pretty much a sell-off by Moton for cap purposes, as he proposed the following trade with the Seattle Seahawks:
- Seahawks get RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire.
- Chiefs get late-round pick.
Now, typically, a late-round pick is considered a fifth rounder or lower (sixth or seventh). That means the disappointing playmaker out of LSU would end up being a rare net negative for Veach — who seems to have realized the error of his ways at running back, finding a seventh-round starter in Pacheco last spring.
Having said that, the Chiefs front office could use the pick — or one of their other 10 in 2023 — to draft a new ball carrier with fresher legs and a cheaper contract. This is supposedly a very deep class at the running back position, so the swap could turn out well for KC both in terms of production and financials.
“Because of a sluggish running back market, Kansas City shouldn’t expect much in return for Edwards-Helaire,” Moton explained. “The Seattle Seahawks should push to acquire Edwards-Helaire to replace Rashaad Penny, who signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in free agency.”
He continued: “The Seahawks can pair Kenneth Walker III and Edwards-Helaire in their backfield. The former would handle early-down touches while the latter carves out a pass-catching role on third down. Edwards-Helaire has hauled in 72 passes for 577 yards and six touchdowns in 33 games.”
Chiefs Relationship With Clyde Edwards-Helaire Seems to Have Run Its Course
Initially pegged as the missing piece for the Chiefs on offense, Edwards-Helaire floundered at the NFL level.
He ended up starting 29 games over three seasons, appearing in 33 according to Pro Football Reference. Over that span, CEH never totaled more than 803 rushing yards — his rookie output — during a single campaign.
The college standout did register 1,100 scrimmage yards on the dot in year one, but dropped to 646 and 453 his following two seasons with a poor rushing total of 302 in 2022. Edwards-Helaire also contributed 17 total touchdowns and held a solid catch rate of 72% on his career.
CEH has talent but for whatever reason, he never seemed to gel inside this KC offense as expected. Nagging injuries didn’t help, and the final straw of this fractured relationship appeared to come ahead of the 2023 Super Bowl.
After working hard to return from the injured reserve, Edwards-Helaire was listed as a healthy scratch in Arizona. Later, when the Chiefs celebrated their victory in Kansas City, the forgotten running back was nowhere to be found.
Having already fallen out of favor with the fanbase, the coaching staff and potentially, the locker room, this trade makes perfect sense for the Chiefs. They can save some much-needed cash — which can be used toward a new weapon for Patrick Mahomes II or a reunion with a veteran asset like McKinnon — while also eliminating a distraction. Your classic win-win scenario.