The Kansas City Chiefs’ offseason has been an extended celebration for the players following the victory over the Philadelphia Eagles in Super Bowl LVII. A player with a question mark on his return status for 2023 is running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire following his injury-riddled 2022 campaign.
Edwards-Helaire suffered a high ankle sprain that cost him most of the regular season and the entire postseason run. He began the year as the starting running back but was replaced midseason by rookie Isiah Pacheco, leaving his future in doubt.
Chiefs general manager Brett Veach addressed the prospect of picking up Edwards-Helaire’s fifth-year option during Thursday’s pre-draft press conference.
“I mean, we have some time here,” Veach said. “We’ll see. I just think we’ll go through the draft, and, you know, we’ll handle our business and make smart decisions like we always do. I don’t think we’ve reached a decision on anything yet. But (it’s) safe to say that once we get through the draft, we’ll look at our board, look at our offseason business that we have to attend to some different players and contract stuff, and we’ll handle all that after the draft.”
While Veach says he has some time to make a decision, the deadline for teams to exercise the fifth-year option on 2020 first-round picks comes on Monday, May 1. That’s just one day after the conclusion of the 2023 NFL draft.
In 2022, Edwards-Helaire’s six total regular season touchdowns tied with former wide receiver Mecole Hardman for third on the team behind only Travis Kelce and Jerick McKinnon. When healthy, he’s shown to be one of the better pass-catching running backs in the league, with enough versatility to line up occasionally at receiver.
The former LSU standout was surprisingly absent for the team’s victory parade in February as he was walking in fashion week in New York. The Chiefs have options in the draft if they add to their running back depth, but face a decision on whether to move on from their 2020 first-round pick.