Chiefs Urged to Move RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire in Trade for Ex-Pro Bowler

Getty Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire

The Kansas City Chiefs backfield is in need of a spark plug heading into the 2022 season.

The defending AFC champions signed former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II this offseason in an attempt to add some talent that can work efficiently in between the tackles alongside Clyde Edwards-Helaire. They also re-signed Jerick McKinnon and Derrick Gore and brought in rookies Isiah Pacheco, Tayon Fleet-Davis, and Jerrion Ealy.

Despite several new, talented options in the running back room this year, there’s always room to add another explosive back, at the right price. That’s why one NFL analyst is calling for Kansas City to package Edwards-Helaire in a trade that would give the Chiefs a former second overall pick in their backfield.

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Chiefs Trade CEH, 4th-Round Pick for Saquon Barkley

Ian Wharton of Bleacher Report named one trade each NFL team should offer before 2022 training camp starts, and urged the Chiefs to send Edwards-Helaire and a 2023 fourth-round pick to the New York Giants in exchange for running back Saquon Barkley.

“Barkley, despite lacking the explosiveness he had before tearing his ACL in 2020, still has plenty of fans around the league thanks to his potential as a dual-threat back,” Wharton wrote on June 17. “His fifth-year option would allow Kansas City to take a one-year flier on him regaining his form. Barkley, unlike Edwards-Helaire, would clearly be the most talented back in a crowded room.”

Barkley, 25, is entering his fifth year in the NFL after going second overall to the Giants in the 2018 draft out of Penn State. As a rookie, Barkley won Offensive Rookie of the Year after accumulating 2028 yards from scrimmage on 352 touches while also scoring 15 total touchdowns, according to Pro Football Reference.

Although he did eclipse 1,000 rushing yards during his second season in the league, injuries began to stunt Barkley’s performance during the 2019 season. Over the past three seasons, he’s missed a total of 21 regular-season games.

With an entirely new coaching staff in New York in 2022, a rough start to the 2022 season for Barkley could actually have him on the trade block prior to the 2022 trade deadline. That makes the trade scenario of Barkley going to Kansas City a possibility, albeit a small one.

CEH Not Threatened by Jones’ Presence

Edwards-Helaire is entering an important season in his NFL career. As a former first-round pick that’s in the third year of his rookie deal, Edwards-Helaire’s performance in 2022 could dictate whether he remains in Kansas City for the remainder of his deal or he’s traded to a team that wants a young back on a rookie contract.

CEH is coming off a down sophomore campaign in which he accumulated 646 yards from scrimmage in 10 games played. The addition of Jones this offseason makes the ability to bounce back in 2022 much more difficult for him. However, CEH isn’t threatened by any of the new faces in Kansas City’s backfield.

“He was somebody that I’d talked to beforehand,” Edwards-Helaire said of Jones after organized team activities on June 9. “I mean, you got Leonard (Fournette) who was in his room. Then you have Ron, (he) was also in Tampa, so it wasn’t just like, ‘Oh, this is just some random dude coming in.’ We had a conversation with each other, being on FaceTime with each other. I’m close friends with Leonard. Everybody knows that he’s a clown, so it’s like, we kind of talk and do those things.

“But I was it was like, you know a running back kind of like mingle thing like we don’t see him like ‘Oh man, (he) plays for this team. I’m not going to talk to him.’ Like we’re all people. So it’s just one of those things I talked to him like any normal person, and when he came in, it was just it is what it is. Talk to you as a person. You have a question? I have a question! We learned from each other. And we go out here and try to improve. That’s about it.”


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