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KC Chiefs: Running back position is taking shape for 2021 season

DENVER, COLORADO - OCTOBER 25: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs hands the ball off to Clyde Edwards-Helaire #25 during their NFL game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field At Mile High on October 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
DENVER, COLORADO - OCTOBER 25: Patrick Mahomes #15 of the Kansas City Chiefs hands the ball off to Clyde Edwards-Helaire #25 during their NFL game against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field At Mile High on October 25, 2020 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images) /
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Fans have a better idea of what the KC Chiefs’ running back situation will look like after the early stages of free agency. 

On the same day that they re-signed Darrel Williams to a one-year contract, the Kansas City Chiefs also made the difficult decision to release Damien Williams.

Damien spent the 2018 and 2019 seasons with the Chiefs and looked good when stepping in late in the 2018 season. He was the starter in 2019 and despite a very inconsistent season, really shined bright in the playoffs, especially in Super Bowl LIV where he should have won the Super Bowl MVP award for his performance.

After opting out in 2020, however, the Chiefs got to see how Clyde Edwards-Helaire looked like as a starter and also got a heavy dose of Darrel Williams. That made the decision to cut ties with Damien Williams a little easier.

The KC Chiefs’ running back situation seems much more clearer now.

If Damien Williams was on this roster come summertime, it’d have been a very crowded backfield in Kansas City. With his release, the Chiefs can now roll with Edwards-Helaire as their starter, Darrel Williams as the backup, and Darwin Thompson and maybe a new face or two as the RB3/4 on the depth chart.

I mentioned Thompson in that group and he’s been just kind of there during his two years in the league. It wouldn’t be shocking if the Chiefs still added a running back late in the draft or picked a few scrappy ones off the undrafted free agent train. They found Darrel Williams as an undrafted free agent and that could be where they find a solid third-string or fourth-string option for 2021 and beyond.

The Chiefs aren’t much of a running team, but hopefully with their soon-to-be rejuvenated offensive line, the running backs will be able to make more of a statement this year. Edwards-Helaire showed potential, but a late-season injury prevented him from getting to 1,000 yards as a rookie.

Darrel Williams, on the other hand, likely earned his contract during his performance in the AFC Divisional Round. He was fantastic at the end of the season and deserved an opportunity to have a bigger role in 2021. That probably wasn’t going to happen if Damien Williams was still a part of the team’s plans at running back.

Next. Pre-Free Agency 53-Man Roster Prediction. dark

It’s sad that Damien Williams didn’t get to have a follow-up season to his Super Bowl performance, but this was the right move for Kansas City. Best of luck to Williams wherever he ends up.