The Chiefs will lose another starter from their Super Bowl champion team to an opt-out decision. Damien Williams informed the team he will not play this season.
This news follows longtime Kansas City guard starter Laurent Duvernay-Tardif‘s decision, which preceded several players’ choices to bypass 2020 amid COVID-19 concerns. Williams became the Chiefs’ starting running back shortly after the team waived Kareem Hunt in 2018. He was again set for a key role this season.
Williams, 28, delivered an inconsistent regular season; the Chiefs ranked 23rd in rushing offense. But the former Dolphins backup again produced in the playoffs. Williams scored six playoff touchdowns and had the best non-Patrick Mahomes claim to the Super Bowl LIV MVP award after totaling 133 scrimmage yards and two touchdowns. He scored four TDs in the 2018 postseason.
Kansas City, however, has some interesting options in its backfield. First-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire will now be on track to start this season. The LSU product was one of college football’s most difficult tackling assignments last season and will join a high-powered Chiefs offense — one now in need of a starting running back. Edwards-Helaire is the only running back an Andy Reid-led team has selected in Round 1 during the future Hall of Fame coach’s 21 years as a head coach. The Chiefs also have young backs Darwin Thompson and Darrel Williams as options beyond Edwards-Helaire.
Williams’ contract ran through 2020. He was to make $1.85MM in base salary this season on a deal that will now toll to 2021.