Should Chiefs bring back Super Bowl hero in free agency?

The Chiefs have yet to re-sign their free agent Super Bowl hero, Jerick McKinnon, despite a decent 2022 season and Super Bowl game-saving play.

In Super Bowl LVII, running back Jerick McKinnon made the game-saving play for the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs were at the Philadelphia Eagles’ 11-yard line with 1:54 remaining in the 35-35 game. McKinnon was handed the ball, and despite the Eagles trying to let him score, he made an intelligent heads-up play and gave himself up by sliding down in bounds at the 2-yard line. This allowed the Chiefs to run the clock almost down.

Harrison Butker kicked a 27-yard field goal with eight seconds left to give Kansas City a 38-35 lead and, ultimately, the win.

McKinnon was praised for his critical, quick thinking at the most crucial point in the game. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes spoke about McKinnon’s decision to slide instead of running for the score.

“Who knows? I mean, all year long he proved how smart he is on that football field, he’s like another quarterback back there. He made it a little closer than I wanted him to. We talked about it in the huddle before the play. But we needed it because I had to take losing so many yards when I was taking those knees (on the next two plays). So it was a smart decision on him, and in that big of a moment you want to run in and score the touchdown.”

McKinnon had four carries for 34 rushing yards in the Super Bowl. In the regular season, he had 291 rushing yards on 72 attempts and 1 rushing touchdown. He also had 56 receptions on 71 targets for 512 receiving yards and nine touchdowns.

Should the Chiefs bring back Jerick McKinnon?

Despite his heroic Super Bowl moment, the Chiefs have yet to re-sign McKinnon, who hit free agency this year, meaning he is still available for other teams.

McKinnon tweeted a few days ago, seemingly venting his frustration with not being re-signed by the Chiefs or being signed by any other team without directly saying so.

McKinnon signed a one-year contract with Kansas City in April 2021. His 2021 season hit a bump when he was placed on injured reserve in November and activated on Jan. 1. He re-signed with the team on June 14, 2022.

Although McKinnon is a running back, his 2022 receiving stats outweigh his rushing stats. Last season, he had the 4th most receiving yards with 512, behind receivers Marquez Valdes-Scantling (687) and JuJu Smith-Schuster (933) and tight end Travis Kelce (1,338). He was also second in touchdowns with 9, behind Kelce (12). On rushing, he was 4th for most rushing yards with 291, behind RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire (302), QB Patrick Mahomes (358), and RB Isiah Pacheco (830).

You would think after his game-saving play and impressive season, he would have been re-signed by now. McKinnon’s receiving stats should be enough for the Chiefs to re-sign him, especially since Smith-Schuster is now with the New England Patriots, and McKinnon can help fill his absence.

Will the Chiefs re-sign McKinnon, or will another team see value in him?

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