Former Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles, the franchise’s career rushing leader, will soon visit the Denver Broncos, a source confirmed to The Star.
Charles, 30, also visited the Seattle Seahawks in March, but left without a contract.
Denver could use a player of Charles’ caliber, provided he’s healthy. C.J. Anderson is the projected starter while youngster Devonate Booker showed flashes. Charles could be more effective than either if he’s finally over the knee issues that have hampered him the last two years.
ESPN first reported Charles’ planned visit to Denver.
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The Chiefs released Charles, a third-round pick in 2008, in late February after a tremendous nine-year run with the team in which he rushed for 7,260 yards, nearly 1,200 more than Priest Holmes. Charles’ career yards-per-carry average of 5.5 ranks first among NFL running backs, ahead of Hall of Famers Jim Brown, 5.2, Gale Sayers, 5.0, and Barry Sanders, 5.0.
The Chiefs gained approximately $6.187 million in cap savings by releasing Charles.
In many ways, the right anterior cruciate ligament that Charles tore against the Chicago Bears in October 2015 was the beginning of the end of his run in Kansas City. He rehabbed the knee and returned for the Chiefs’ Week 4 game last season against Pittsburgh, eventually logging season-highs with 11 touches and 15 snaps in an Oct. 16 win over Oakland.
But Charles’ knee swelled after a practice the following week, and he only logged two snaps Oct. 23 against the Saints. He missed the next game against Indianapolis and visited noted orthopedic surgeon James Andrews shortly thereafter, a move that eventually landed him on injured reserve after rushing only 12 times for 40 yards and a touchdown.