Conflicting Reports on Jamaal Charles’ Status for Chiefs Camp

According to a report by KCTV-5 in Kansas City, Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles will not show up to training camp this week without a new contract. 

There is a conflicting report out there by Terez Paylor of The Kansas City Star that suggests Charles will report on time, whether there is an extension in place or not.

Paylor is also indicating that the two sides have had negotiations about a new contract. 

Charles put up nearly 2,000 total yards and a league-leading 19 touchdowns for the Chiefs last year. His $3.9 million salary for the 2014 season ranks him 11th on the list of the highest-paid players at that position in the NFL.

The Pro Bowl running back signed a six-year, $28 million contract back in 2010 and is slated to be a free agent following the 2015 season. At 27 years old, it makes sense that Charles would be looking for more money on a long-term extension. Once he hits free agency two years from now, Charles will be staring 30 right in the face. As you already know by how the market played out for running backs this offseason, that’s not necessarily an optimal position for someone like Charles.

The leverage is real here. Charles represented nearly 35 percent of Kansas City’s offense last season. He’s the most integral part of an offense as any running back in the National Football League. Under current rules, Charles will be fined $30,000 for every day that he refuses to show up for camp. This is an indication that the running back is using this hold-out threat as a power play to force Kansas City to sit down for serious negotiations.

Kansas City is also in the midst of a contract stalemate with quarterback Alex Smith, who is said to be seeking $18 million in annual salary. Considering Smith is set to be a free agent following the 2014 season, he’s the top priority for Kansas City right now.

It remains to be seen whether Charles will report to camp on Wednesday. If not, Chiefs general manager John Dorsey will have a lot on his plate as the team prepares for the 2014 season.

Photo: Washington Post