July 24, 2024

Though running back is not at or near the very top of the list of needs for the Kansas City Chiefs heading into free agency — which begins on March 13 — there is a depth issue behind third-year back and starter Isiah Pacheco

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That’s why the Chiefs are among the favorites to sign pending free agent running back J.K. Dobbins, according to Bet Maryland.

Per Bet Maryland, the Chiefs (+800) have the second-best odds to sign Dobbins, only behind the division-rival Los Angeles Chargers, who are the favorites to get the fourth-year back (+550).

Though Dobbins, 25, is entering his fifth NFL season, we need to start our recap of his NFL career by briefly touching on his collegiate career.

During his junior year at Ohio State — his final collegiate season — Dobbins became the first RB in Ohio State history to rush for over 2,000 yards (2,003) in a single season and also recorded 21 rushing touchdowns. He was also the first OSU athlete to rush for over 1,000 yards as a freshman, sophomore, and junior.

The track record was there to show that Dobbins was a talented back. That’s why the Baltimore Ravens selected him with the 55th overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft.

But injuries have struck Dobbins since he entered the NFL. He has missed a total of 42 games during his four-year stint with the Ravens, per Fantasy Doctors, with the injuries occurring in multiple and significant ways (Achilles, ACL).

Injuries aside, Dobbins has looked good when he’s been healthy, albeit in an overall small sample size. He’s averaging 5.8 yards per carry on 234 career carries.

But it’s hard to keep injuries aside because they have plagued Dobbins’ NFL career. That is why Baltimore will likely let him walk during free agency, which puts Dobbins in a position to sign with another team, likely on a one-year, prove-it deal.

Does J.K. Dobbins Make Sense for Chiefs?

Dobbins would make sense in Kansas City’s backfield. Pairing Dobbins’ elusiveness with Pacheco’s physical play style would mesh well in the second half of games when the Chiefs are trying to grind out of the clock.

Kansas City’s medical staff would first need to examine Dobbins’ knee and Achilles, with the latter currently undergoing rehab after being torn in the 2023 regular season opener. If everything checks out, then the two parties could discuss contract terms.

Let’s say the benchmark for Dobbins’ contract was Spotrac’s calculated market value, which is a contract worth two years and $4.3 million — an average annual value (AAV) of $2.1 million. Let’s also say most of the guaranteed money in that deal is front-loaded.

In that scenario, I think the Chiefs should sign Dobbins. If they have to add some incentives to the contract as well — so be it. He would be well worth the money if he’s performing well enough to earn those incentives.

Twitter/X Discusses J.K. Dobbins to Chiefs

Users on X, formerly Twitter, have also discussed the idea of Dobbins joining the two-time defending Super Bowl champions this offseason.

Fwiw RB is a little bit of a need this year for the #chiefs even with Pacheco. Personally I’d like to see JK Dobbins brought in,” one user wrote. “Has had injuries but maybe could return to form in a committee type backfield.”

“I dont know anyone who doesnt think the Chiefs dont need to upgrade their RB room: give me a mid rounder and JK Dobbins on a 1 yr deal,” another user wrote.

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