Free Agent Idiocy – Jamaal Charles

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My roster acumen isn’t relegated to the free agent market alone. Sometimes I’m a draft savant who knows MUCH more than the guys in the front office, and am clearly right on every single pick.

The first installment of this series was when the Chiefs signed Kendrell Bell – and how I told EVERYONE who would listen that the Chiefs were headed for the championship.

Part two is when the Chiefs (in my incredibly informed and intelligent decision) made a stupid decision, then compounded that by making an even dumber one in the draft.

How We Got Here

Do you remember the 2007 Chiefs season? Probably not, and for good reason. The Chiefs lost their last 9 in a row to finish 4-12 under second-year head coach Herm Edwards. Lamar Hunt had passed away. Trent Green had been traded to Miami. Jared Allen was suspended. Larry Johnson held out of training camp, and then got hurt. And those last two sentences are what led to the 2008 draft.

Allen wanted a huge contract, and probably deserved one. However, he’d gotten his second DUI in less than two years during the offseason – and a third would mean he’d be suspended a full year. He requested a trade, didn’t get it, so he decided to take it out on the rest of the league – Allen totaled 15.5 sacks and 3 forced fumbles in just 14 games.

The Chiefs elected to trade Allen to the Minnesota Vikings for 3 picks, including a 1st-rounder and two 3rd-rounders.

That 1st round pick turned into Branden Albert. One of the 3rd-round picks turned into Brad Cottam (!). But we’re here to talk about that other 3rd-round pick – one the Chiefs used on a speedster from the University of Texas – Jamaal Charles.

Player Profile

Charles was fast. Literally track star fast. He averaged over 6 YPC as a Longhorn, including a 290 yard performance that flayed, skinned and tanned the Nebraska Cornhuskers. He was fast, could catch and had an lot of upside. However…

Chiefs Situation

Remember that Larry Johnson holdout? Well, it worked – and LJ got himself the biggest contract for a running back in league history. 5 years, $45 million with $19 million guaranteed. Nowadays, nobody would pay that kind of money for an RB, and the Chiefs (in hindsight) certainly shouldn’t have paid it then.


I was correct in a sense – we DID have the best running back in the league…he was just currently sitting third on the depth chart behind LJ and Kolby Smith (!!!!).

Who We Should’ve Drafted

Remember when you blocked out the 2007 season? Then you probably don’t remember that the anchor of the defensive line had just been drafted the year prior – in the form of Tank (Tyler) and Turk (McBride) – a DT and DE, respectively, that were to be the future of the defense.

The Rams screwed up the Chiefs plans by taking Chris Long #2 overall, so the Chiefs were (allegedly) delighted when Glenn Dorsey fell to them at #5.

(So was I. I thought the Chiefs had gotten a steal. As always, I’m an idiot).

In the 2nd round, the Chiefs picked up Brandon Flowers at CB. The very next pick is the player I wanted the Chiefs to draft in the 3rd round – or maybe package some picks to move up and get him.

That pick was Jordy Nelson.


Charles, of course, went on to become one of the greatest Chiefs players of all-time – and LJ was never heard from again (except for smacking bitches in Westport). Nelson had a tremendous career, but also got to play with Favre and Aaron Rodgers for most of it. I don’t know if Brodie Croyle and Damon Huard would’ve provided the same output.

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One of the 3rd-round picks turned into Brad Cottam

Can’t win them all!