Chiefs set to make easy call on former first-round pick

The Kansas City Chiefs are reportedly prepared to make an important decision regarding one of their recent first-round picks.

The Kansas City Chiefs have celebrated their third Super Bowl victory in franchise history, and their second in the past four years, after they defeated the Philadelphia Eagles 38-35. But already, they have seen some changes, like offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy departing for the Washington Commanders to be their assistant head coach and being replaced in-house by Matt Nagy. But ahead of the 2023 season, they have a big decision to make regarding one of their recent first-round selections.

According to The Athletic’s Nate Taylor (subscription required), the Chiefs are expected to decline running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s fifth-year option. That would make him a free agent after the 2023 season, and as Taylor brings up in his article, a potential trade candidate.

Chiefs expected to decline Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s fifth-year option

The Chiefs, who were coming off of a Super Bowl 54 victory, used their first-round pick, 32nd overall, on Edwards-Helaire out of LSU. The move made sense at the time, as he was the top running back prospect that year to provide more depth to their rushing offense.

Edwards-Helaire shined in his rookie year, rushing for 803 yards and four touchdowns on 181 carries in 13 games played. However, through his three seasons in the league, he dealt with a variety of injuries.

In 2020, he missed three games due to a high ankle sprain and hip strain. In 2021, Edwards-Helaire was sidelined for five games due to an MCL sprain. Then this past season, he suffered a high ankle sprain in Week 11 and didn’t return to the football field for the remainder of the season. He was notably made inactive for Super Bowl 57, despite the fact he was removed from the injured reserve.

While Edwards-Helaire has missed time due to injuries, the Chiefs watched as 2022 seventh-round pick Isiah Pacheco make an immediate impact in his first season with the team. With that, he is virtually slotted in to be their starting running back entering the 2023 season.

The Chiefs and other NFL teams have until May 1 to decide whether they want to exercise the fifth-year options. With a couple of months ago, it sounds as though the Chiefs will opt to decline the fifth-year option on Edwards-Helaire.

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