Kansas City Chiefs running back Damien Williams will opt out of the 2020 NFL season, the club has announced via its official Twitter account.
Statement from GM Brett Veach— Kansas City Chiefs (@Chiefs) July 29, 2020
“Damien Williams informed the club of his decision to opt out of the 2020 season." pic.twitter.com/dEQ2sUs9u2
“As an organization, we certainly understand and respect Damien’s choice, knowing it was made in the best interest of his family,” general manager Brett Veach said. “He means a lot to our football team as a player and a person, and we’re going to miss having him around this season.”
Williams registered 111 rushes for 498 yards and five touchdowns in 2020, as well as 30 receptions for 213 yards and two touchdowns. His best work over the past two seasons has come in the playoffs. In the Chiefs’ five postseason games from 2018-19, Williams had 81 carries for 355 yards and six touchdowns and 21 catches for 185 yards and four touchdowns.
Williams was a candidate for the Super Bowl LIV MVP award (which ultimately went to Patrick Mahomes). Williams had 133 yards in the game and two scores — the first to put the Chiefs up 24-20 and the second to seal it at 31-20.
Had the opportunity to ask CEH about 1) finally getting to jump in after the COVID-19 offseason and 2) Andy Reid's playbook... last Saturday. His answers made me feel confident he's ready for this. #Chiefs pic.twitter.com/slCoiJ1odm— Pete Sweeney (@pgsween) July 29, 2020
The Chiefs currently have five other running backs on their roster — Clyde Edwards-Helaire, DeAndre Washington, Darwin Thompson, Darrel Williams and Elijah McGuire. The news on Damien likely means that Edwards-Helaire, who the Chiefs selected with their No. 32 overall pick in this year’s draft, will be the Week 1 starter.
Under 2020’s special rules in the NFL, Williams will likely earn $150,000 (as a 2021 advance) for his opt out. The Chiefs will have him under contract through 2021. With this announcement, we estimate the Chiefs will gain about $1.4 million in cap space for 2020.