Ex-Chiefs RB Signs With Cardinals Thanks to Patrick Mahomes: Report

Getty Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.

Former Kansas City Chiefs running back Darrel Williams is signing with the Arizona Cardinals, according to Jordan Schultz on May 24.

Schultz also detailed how Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes played a part in Williams striking a deal with Arizona.

“I’m also told Patrick Mahomes vouched for Williams, informing Arizona that he was a back he both liked/trusted,” Schultz wrote.

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Williams had met with the Cardinals for a free agent visit on April 4, according to ESPN’s Field Yates. It’s possible Arizona wanted to go through the draft and undrafted free agency first to see if they could find any capable additions before signing Williams. In the end, Williams strikes a deal with Arizona after being a free agent since early March.

After going undrafted out of LSU in 2018, Williams signed with the Chiefs that same year and has been with them ever since. As a strong rotational piece of their backfield, Williams accumulated 237 rushing attempts for 910 yards and 10 touchdowns during his tenure in Kansas City, according to Pro Football Reference.

Last season, Williams had a career-high 144 rushing attempts for 558 yards and 6 touchdowns. He also caught 47 passes on 57 targets for 452 yards and another 2 scores, putting him over 1,000 total yards for the 2021 season, a season in which 2020 first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire missed seven games due to injury.

Twitter Reacts to Williams Signing With AZ

Twitter users reacted to Williams signing with the Cardinals, whom the Chiefs will face in Week 1 of the 2022 season.

“Darrel Williams had 47 catches for 452 yards last season with the Chiefs. Will slot in nicely as the Cardinals’ third-down RB,” Kyle Odegard of Compare.bet wrote.

“Every time I see a pro-James Conner tweet the comments are flooded with “but he’s injury prone!” For weeks Eno Benjamin & Keaontay Ingram went undrafted. Well now the Arizona Cardinals add Darrel Williams, who could be my favorite backup. Go get him you ambulance chasers!” another user wrote.

“Darrel Williams is a great addition to the backfield for the Arizona Cardinals. He had RB1 reps when injuries hit the Kansas City Chiefs backfield and will be able to handle 30-40% of the workload so James Conner doesn’t have to be the every down back for the Cardinals,” Alex Clancy of Locked On Cardinals wrote.

“Really nice move for Cardinals and Darrel Williams. Was an obvious fit and just a matter a time imo. Will share that backfield w/ James Conner who is not the RB1 he’s been advertised as. Good injury insurance as well. Williams a top tier zero RB target,” another user wrote.

Chiefs RB Room, What’s Next for KC

With Williams and fellow veteran running back Jerick McKinnon testing free agency this offseason, Kansas filled the holes in their running back room with veteran free agents and rookies.

The Chiefs signed former Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Ronald Jones II on March 26. They then signed undrafted rookies Isiah Pacheco, Jerrion Ealy, and Terrion Fleet-Davis. Adding those players into the mix with Edwards-Helaire and second-year back Derrick Gore gives Kansas City’s backfield youth and upside heading into the 2022 season.

Next up on Kansas City’s offseason schedule is organized team activities (OTAs) from May 25 to 26. After a three-day break, the team will meet again for more OTAs from May 31 to June 2. Their last set of OTAs will be from June 7 to 10.

After OTAs, the last time the Chiefs meet before summer break will be for mandatory minicamp from June 14 to 16.