The team has a rookie running back with a bright future in Clyde Edwards-Helaire. They have an army of mid-level running back options working behind him including former LSU teammate Darrel Williams. Is there an outside chance, however, that the decision to bring in a player like Fournette could be a good move for Kansas City?
It wasn’t long ago that our friends over at For The Win wanted to send the Fournette to the Chiefs in a blockbuster trade scenario. Back around the 2020 NFL Draft, rumors surfaced that Fournette was available for trade. I refuted the idea that Fournette would be a fit for the Chiefs back then, and frankly, most of the reasoning still stands. Fournette won’t be a 1000-yard rusher in Kansas City and feeding him the football would take snaps out of Patrick Mahomes’ hands. That’s all still true.
On the flip side, Fournette’s release from the Jacksonville Jaguars potentially takes finances out of the equation. That was something that held up any idea of trading for Fournette for most NFL teams.
There is also a new factor that could make Fournette’s signing a smart one. Fournette might be seen as a distraction because of non-football issues that were perceived to be at the root of the split with Jacksonville. The Chiefs have the locker room to potentially reel Fournette in if that’s what he needs. In fact, Kansas City already has two of his former teammates in the running back room in Edwards-Helaire and Willams.
Edwards-Helaire spoke a bit about how going into a stacked running back room at LSU, one that included both Fournette and Williams, ultimately helped him learn and become a better player.
“It’s just like I’m in the same position I was three years ago,” Edwards-Helaire said back in May. “I was going into a college football room where Leonard [Fournette] had just left and I was in a room with Derrius Guice, Darrel Williams — who is actually in the room now — and Nick Brossette. I had guys, I was going into a stacked room again and ultimately I went in to learn. That’s the biggest thing — If you can learn from guys who have experienced the things that you’re about to encounter, you can only benefit from it.”
The Chiefs could opt to form an all-LSU backfield, with the exception of perhaps Darwin Thompson and Anthony Sherman. Adding another familiar veteran to the mix could even help Edwards-Helaire’s development in the long run.
Say Brett Veach decides to sign Fournette to a one-year deal, it provides the team with depth and a buffer in case of injury. He’d immediately compete with Williams for the No. 2 role in Kansas City. If he did see playing time and some sort of resurgence, that’d be good for the team. Fournette could earn a contract elsewhere in 2021 and the Chiefs could see a return on investment in the way of a compensatory pick in 2022.
Does Kansas City need to add Fournette? No, they can survive without him. Are there reasons that his addition might make sense and even become beneficial to the Chiefs? Yes, undeniably so. With that in mind, why not roll the dice?