Disclaimer: I like CEH. I’m not saying the Chiefs should trade him. I think at worst he’s a high-end 3rd string RB for the Chiefs. I also think it’s possible, he could recapture his drive, unleash his potential, and be a dominant force in KC this season though I’m not going to bet my life savings on it. This is merely a thought experiment on how the Chiefs could get better in the long run to continue their quasi-dynasty.
· Good player: Clyde has been pretty good out on the field, particularly his rookie season where he had 1,100 yards from scrimmage (rushing + receiving). A team could see that potential and be interested.
· Health issues: He has had health issues each of the last 3 years which has frustrated Chiefs fans, and possibly those in the Chiefs organization including CEH himself.
· Lack of opportunity: Isiah Pacheco stepped up in his absence and did not relinquish the starting role the remainder of the season. Add to that, the Chiefs brought back Jerick "The Jet" McKinnon, and there isn’t a place for CEH in the 2-man rotation. They also brought in La’Mical Perine and Deneric Prince to compete for a roster spot. Of the two, I think Prince has a better chance of making the team IF they’re looking for a Pacheco clone while Perine’s skillset might be closer to McKinnon’s.
· Long-term outlook: CEH is on the last year of his rookie contract. The team has already declined his 5th year option. Up till now, it seems they have no interest in trying to sign him to any sort of extension. Rather than having him ride the bench this year, they could consider shopping him.
If I’m reading the tea leaves right, all of this points to the POSSIBILITY that CEH gets traded at some point this year.
What type of compensation could the Chiefs expect for CEH?
If he’s not going to see the field except in case of emergency, my hunch is they would take just about anything, including a conditional 7th rounder. But maybe I’m selling him short. Maybe someone sees a potential superstar in Clyde. He was amazing during LSU’s Championship run.
What type of team could be interested?
Criteria for a possible trade destination:
1. Potential playoff team
2. With a bad RB situation
3. Preferably in the NFC
Who specifically might want CEH? And what could they offer the Chiefs?
1.1. Playoff contender? Mickey Loomis is the undisputed King of pushing money into future years so he can "compete" for a title. He’s done it again this year, pushing millions into future years so he could sign Derek Carr in what may be the worst division in football. They also have the easiest schedule in the league. Best QB + easiest schedule + all-in GM = why not? But do they have a…
1.2. Bad RB situation? Alvin Kamara may be going to jail. If he doesn’t go to jail, he could still be facing a multi-game suspension. The Saints have brought in Jamaal Williams who was a TD machine for Detroit last season. They also have Kendre Miller, but he’s already got a "Questionable" designation. CEH could provide some depth and a nice 1-2 punch paired with Williams.
1.3. NFC South
1.4. What could they offer the Chiefs? They don’t have a 7th rounder next year, but they are in line to have 3-6th round picks. Perhaps if the Chiefs sent back a 7th, they could make this deal happen.
2.1. Playoff contender? As mentioned above, the NFC South appears weak this year. If Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask can be competent at QB, the rest of the Bucs roster is still pretty solid, except that they seem to have a…
2.2. Bad RB situation. Rachaad White does not move the needle very much. Neither does Chase Edmonds. Ke’Shawn Vaughn is already behind both of them on the depth chart so he’s out. Perhaps CEH would be an upgrade on either of those in terms of talent. And that could be the difference between winning the division or missing the playoffs altogether.
2.3. NFC South
2.4. What could they offer the Chiefs? The Bucs do have their 7th rounder, so that seems most likely to me. If they’re looking to compete, I don’t see how they could give up anyone who’s set to contribute this year for them.
3.1. Playoff contender? Probably not, BUT GB should take a step back this year unless Jordan Love is the "next" Aaron Rodgers. Detroit wasted its 2 premium 1st round picks on an RB (Gibbs) and a LB (Campbell). Minnesota can’t expect to get so lucky in close games, and I don’t think they’ve fixed their defense, like, at all. Justin Fields was a top 10 rusher who now has a legitimate #1 receiver in DJ Moore. If the defense can come together, they could be in a lot of close games, and as we saw with the Vikings last year, many of those could go the Bears’ way. But I’m not so sure they don’t have a…
3.2. Bad RB situation: I like D’Onta Foreman. I like Khalil Herbert. He was a savior for me for a few weeks in fantasy football. At the same time, he was continually behind Montgomery on the depth chart. Travis Homer is fine. I still think a healthy, determined CEH has a higher ceiling than any of them.
3.3. NFC North
3.4. What could they offer the Chiefs? Like TB, Chicago also doesn’t have its 7th round pick next year, but perhaps they would trade their 6th rounder for CEH and the Chiefs’ 7th.
Other teams could get added to this list as injuries start to pile up in the preseason and regular season before the trade deadline hits. If this trade happens, it probably happens in-season close to the trade deadline when teams see where they stand and what they need to push for a playoff run.
I’m not advocating to trade CEH. I’m perfectly content to keep him around for this year as our RB3 (if he wins that job), and then let him walk as a free agent. Ideally someone would sign him to a contract that makes the Chiefs eligible for a compensatory pick in 2025. At the same time, I see a scenario where he gets outplayed by Deneric Prince, or at least it’s close and a "business decision" is made to keep the young, explosive guy who has 3 years of team control over the more experienced guy who will most likely be gone next year anyway. IF that happens, then CEH could be on the trade block before the final roster cuts, and these are the 3 teams I’d call first barring any injury developments.