FanPost

Why I Can't Be Angry About Jamaal Charles

I feel like this will be one of a million think-pieces about Jamaal that is posted here before we see him On Monday, October 30th at Arrowhead, but I'm writing it anyway. I have my first cup of coffee in my favorite mug, and I'm sure it won't be my last of the day. I also plan on doing a review of my last mock drafts, and since I'm done with my semester after this Friday, I'll have the time to actually do that.

Jamaal Charles is now a Denver Bronco. That's not something I ever thought I would have to live through, much less type out. But it is the way that things are now, and I find myself more at peace than I expected myself to be. Am I hurt and sad? Yes, of course; Jamaal Charles was, without a doubt, my all-time favorite Chiefs player. He brought me no end of joy when he dominated the competition, and before yesterday, the one video that I could always watch to lift my spirits was the highlight video of The Jamaalocaust, his 2013 one-man destruction of the entire Raiders franchise. If you haven't watched it recently, do yourself a favor. It's still one of the best things I've ever seen, and was evident of what he could do at his best. If Reid had wanted to feed him that much, Jamaal could have scored ten touchdowns that day. He was unstoppable.

But now, he's gone. And he's said some things that, to many Chiefs fans, turned him into a villain forever. I read his quotes with a kind of sick masochism, wanting to stop the pain but not being able to look away or stop myself.

But even as I read him burying the Chiefs, bragging about how excited he was to play for the Broncos, I couldn't hate him. I couldn't get mad. And worst of all, I understood exactly what he was thinking.

The Chiefs did him a disservice. He was the only watchable part of our offense for years and years, single-handedly raising the watchability of some truly awful teams. And yet, despite universal love and praise from Chiefs fans, he never got the acclaim that a future Hall of Fame back deserved; his 2012 campaign, the only good player on the worst offense I've ever seen when he piled up 1800 total yards, was outshone by Adrian Peterson's MVP season. In 2013, his career year of almost 2000 yards of offense and 19 touchdowns, he was robbed of the limelight by Peyton Manning's 55 touchdown season. He didn't even get the full-time starting job until his 4th year in the league, a season tragically cut short by an ACL injury. Jamaal never got his due.

And then, at age 30, the team that he sacrificed the best years of his career for, the team that saw him tear tendons in both his knees, dropped him. The Chiefs cut him for cap space in the early stages of the 2017 offseason, and made it clear in the media that they did not want the franchise's all time leading rusher back in the building. Not only that, but the narrative surrounding the Chiefs offense was that they needed a feature back to replace Spencer Ware after an ineffective second half of the 2016 season.

Jamaal feels like he can still play, and I'm sure he made that known to the team he had spent his entire career for, yet they didn't offer him a pay cut. They didn't want to work with him. They cut him and never looked back.

And that's not even to say they did the wrong thing by doing it. Whether Jamaal can actually still play or not is up for debate (my money is that he still can) and his price tag was at $7m for the season after barely being able to contribute for two seasons. That's a lot of money for an RB that you can't count on, and the Chiefs probably made the right decision by letting him go now.

But if you can say you don't understand why Jamaal is bitter, then you aren't paying attention.

Jamaal feels wronged, and he isn't wrong to feel that way.

The Chiefs cut an all-time performer for the team, and they weren't wrong to do so.

So Jamaal went to a team that wanted him, and he signed the contract to make himself a Denver Bronco. And I'm not mad about it, because he needs to keep doing what he can while he is able to. One of the things I think that we all forget is that while football doesn't last forever, the expenses related to it do. Jamaal may have a net worth of $30 million right now, but he also has around 50-60 years of life ahead of him with no certain career prospects after he hangs up his cleats. He could go into coaching or some other ancillary football career, but that's not a certain thing; all he has for certain is the ability to play football, and the fact that because of his chosen career, he's going to have to pay for very good health insurance for the rest of his life. Two ACL tears means that his knees will probably need to be replaced in the future, and the battering he received between the tackles will surely have taken its toll on him. Add in the concussions and the worry of CTE that comes with it, and Jamaal is going to have to be very careful in his money management if he wants to be able to afford his own health expenses. Making his money while he can has to be his priority, even if it means taking a one-year prove-it deal with Denver.

This definitely sucks for everyone involved. Jamaal was hurt, the fans were hurt, and anybody who says they're not feeling hurt or betrayed is probably lying to you. But I still can't be mad about it. God speed, Jamaal Charles, and best of luck to you. I just hope that when you get your golden jacket, that it's as a Kansas City Chief.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Arrowhead Pride's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Arrowhead Pride writers or editors.