An era came to an end in late February when the Chiefs decided to release their all-time leading rusher, Jamaal Charles, after nine seasons.
It was a difficult decision, according to coach Andy Reid and general manager John Dorsey, and on Monday, team chairman Clark Hunt echoed those words.
“Well, Jamaal — in addition to being one of mine — is I think a lot of Chiefs fans’ favorite player on the field,” Hunt said. “He is also a very special person. He’s somebody that I think everybody who is close to the organization had a chance to build a relationship with, and certainly, when you have to let somebody go who has meant so much to your organization on the field and off the field, it’s always tough.
“I would say that’s one of the hardest parts about the business, and it was a sad day for me when we released him.”
Charles, 30, has dealt with knee issues the last two years. He visited Seattle earlier this month, but left without a deal.
A return to Kansas City this year would appear to be unlikely, given the finality of the statements from Hunt, Reid and Dorsey the team distributed at the time Charles was released.
But on Monday, Hunt — who has already said the Chiefs will honor Charles’ accomplishments when the time is right — wouldn’t rule out a reunion at some point when asked if Charles could return as a player one day.
“You know, the door is never closed on any player, just because a decision was made this year to move on,” Hunt said. “You know, circumstances change, and it would be misleading for me to say ‘No, we would never have that player or this player back,’ because we’ve all seen it happen.”