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Looking at the Chiefs options in a post-Jamaal Charles world

NFL: Kansas City Chiefs at Oakland Raiders Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

We all know that Chiefs running back Jamaal Charles has an uncertain future in Kansas City because of his injury history. SB Nation’s Christian D’Andrea included Charles in his potential cap casualties for every AFC team Tuesday morning:

The oft-injured tailback has bounced back from time on the IR before, but that was when he was 26. He’ll be 31 this season, and too much of a question mark for Kansas City to invest more than $6 million of cap space in 2017. ... Worries he will never regain his All-Pro form are legitimate, and while his career isn’t over, his time with the Chiefs almost certainly is—at least at his current salary.

GM John Dorsey will have a decision to make. Can they bank on the health of Charles, or should they move in a different direction at running back?

It’s possible they could go with Spencer Ware, but he struggled for the most part of 2016 as the primary back. Some notable free agent running backs include LeGarrette Blount, Latavius Murray, Rashad Jennings and Eddie Lacy. Blount and Jennings both have age concerns, though, at 30 and 31.

A running back in the draft could also be possible, but how much of a priority it is for the Chiefs remains to be seen. Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook and Christian McCaffrey are widely considered as the top three backs in the draft. McCaffrey seems to be a popular choice in the mid-to-late first round, so he might be available for KC.

After those three, there’s a drop-off to the next best running backs. Samaje Perine (Oklahoma), D’onta Foreman (Texas) and Jeremy McNichols (Boise State) lineup later in the second or third rounds in many draft predictions. Just because the Chiefs don’t pick up a running back in the first or second round doesn’t mean a quality back can’t be found later in the later in the draft, though.

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