1:53pm: Interestingly, West and Ware appear to have signed to the exact same terms, according to Rapoport, who tweets that both deals are two-year extensions worth $3.6MM, with $2.35MM guaranteed.
11:19am: The Chiefs have locked up a pair of running backs to new contract extensions, the team announced today in a press release. As first reported by Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link), Charcandrick West and Spencer Ware, who teamed up to replace Jamaal Charles after his ACL injury last season, have signed new deals with the team.
“Charcandrick and Spencer both stepped in and were very effective for us offensively last year,” Chiefs GM John Dorsey said in a statement. “These guys have different styles and abilities, and together they provide us quality depth at the running back position.”
The timing of the extensions for West and Ware is interesting, since neither player would have even be eligible for restricted free agency until 2017, meaning they weren’t on track to become unrestricted free agents until 2018. Nonetheless, the Chiefs clearly liked what they saw from the duo last season, and are perhaps preparing for the end of the Jamaal Charles era in Kansas City.
Although Charles – who has a $5.3MM+ cap charge – is expected to remain on the Chiefs’ roster in 2016, his cap hit increases to $7MM in 2017, the final year of his current deal. He’s coming off another major knee injury, and will turn 30 later this year, so it makes sense that Dorsey and the Chiefs would be looking ahead to the future.
West, who turns 25 in June, was the first man up for the Chiefs in 2015 when Charles went down, and ultimately carried the ball 160 times for 634 yards and four touchdowns. He added another 20 receptions and a TD through the air.
As for Ware, he earned a couple starts when West got hurt, and averaged 5.6 yards per carry on 72 attempts, for 403 yards and six touchdowns for the season. According to Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link), Ware’s extension is for two years, so he’ll be under contract through the 2018 campaign. Rapoport tweets that the two-year extension is heavy on incentives — the base value is $3.6MM, with $2.35MM guaranteed, but it can be worth up to $9.6MM via yardage and TD incentives.
With Charles, West, and Ware all in the mix for 2016, Knile Davis finds himself buried on Kansas City’s depth chart, and Jason Cole of Bleacher Report tweets that the team is working on a trade involving Davis. Details on those talks aren’t known yet, and it’s not clear if anything will get done, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Dolphins, who have been in the market for running back help all month, have some interest in Davis — we heard last week that Miami was exploring trade options for a back.
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