The Chiefs have released four-time Pro Bowl running back Jamaal Charles, clearing more than $6 million in salary cap space.
Charles missed the start of last season after having surgery to repair a second torn ACL. He returned to play in three games, carrying 12 times for 40 yards with a touchdown, before having additional surgery on his knees forced him to miss the rest of the year.
The Chiefs needed to release Charles to create salary cap space to sign safety Eric Berry and guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif to contract extensions. Berry was finalizing a $78 million, six-year deal, and Duvernary-Tardif signed a $41.25 million, five-year contract.
Charles has played in 103 games (69 starts) in nine NFL seasons with the Chiefs from 2008-2016.
“On behalf of my family and the entire Kansas City Chiefs team, I’d like to thank Jamaal Charles for his contributions and dedication over the last nine seasons,” Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said. “Jamaal has been one of the most prolific players in our organization’s history, and I have an enormous amount of respect for what he has accomplished. He’ll always be a part of the Chiefs family, and we’ll be ready to honor him for his outstanding playing career when the time is right.”
His career numbers include 1,332 rushes for 7,260 yards (5.5 avg.) with 43 touchdowns. He has recorded 285 receptions for 2,457 yards (8.6 avg.) with 20 TDs.
Charles tallied 9,717 scrimmage yards and 64 total touchdowns with the Chiefs. A four-time Pro Bowler, he is the franchise’s all-time leading rusher. His best statistical season came in 2012 when he rushed 285 times for 1,509 yards (5.3 avg.) and five touchdowns.
“I have a great deal of admiration for Jamaal Charles, his toughness, and what he’s been able to achieve in his time in Kansas City,” general manager John Dorsey said. “These decisions are never easy, but we felt it was in the best interests of the club to move on at this time. We wish Jamaal and his family the best of luck in their next step.”
Charles originally entered the NFL as the Chiefs third-round pick (73rd overall) in the 2008 NFL Draft. The Port Arthur, Texas, native, played collegiately at the University of Texas.
“I’ve been privileged to work with a lot of talented players over the years, and Jamaal Charles ranks up there with the great ones,” head coach Andy Reid said. “I appreciate the way he came to work every day, he gave us everything he had day-in and day-out. I’ve said it before, I think he’s a future Hall of Famer.”
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