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Chiefs Among Favorites to Sign Former 2,000-Yard Rusher at Ohio State

Though running back is not at the top of the Kansas City Chiefs’ list of needs when free agency begins on March 13, there is a depth issue behind third-year back and starter Isiah Pacheco.

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

According to Bet Maryland, the Chiefs (+800) have the second-best odds to sign Dobbins, trailing only division foe Los Angeles Chargers (+550).

What to Know About J.K. Dobbins.
Though Dobbins, 25, is entering his sixth NFL season, we must begin our recap of his NFL career by briefly discussing his undergraduate career.

KC Chiefs RB Isiah Pacheco Poised for NFL and Fantasy Football Stardom -  Sports Illustrated Kansas City Chiefs News, Analysis and More

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

Dobbins’ track record demonstrated that he was a talented running back. That is why the Baltimore Ravens chose him with the 55th overall choice in the 2020 NFL draft.

However, Dobbins has suffered several injuries since entering the NFL. According to Fantasy Doctors, he has missed 42 games over his four-year career with the Ravens due to injuries in a variety of serious ways.

Putting aside injuries, Dobbins has looked good while healthy, albeit in a tiny sample size. He has 234 career carries and averages 5.8 yards per rush.

However, it is difficult to ignore Dobbins’ NFL career-long history of injuries. That is why Baltimore will most likely let him depart during free agency, putting Dobbins in position to sign with another team on a one-year, prove-it contract.

Enter the Chiefs?

Baltimore Ravens RB J.K. Dobbins Sprinting During Rehab - Sports  Illustrated Baltimore Ravens News, Analysis and More

Does J.K. Dobbins Make Sense for the Chiefs?
Dobbins would fit well in Kansas City’s backfield. Pairing Dobbins’ elusiveness with Pacheco’s physical play style would be ideal in the second half of games when the Chiefs are attempting to run out the clock.

Kansas City’s medical staff would first need to assess Dobbins’ knee and Achilles, the latter of which is now in rehab after being torn in the 2023 regular season opener. If everything checks out, the two parties may discuss contract terms.

Assume the benchmark for Dobbins’ contract was Spotrac’s calculated market value, which is a two-year contract for $4.3 million, with an average annual value (AAV) of $2.1 million. Let’s additionally assume that the majority of the guaranteed money in that transaction is paid upfront.

In that circumstance, I believe the Chiefs should sign Dobbins. If they have to include certain incentives in the contract, then so be it. He would be well worth the money if he performed well enough to obtain those incentives.

Twitter/X Discusses J.K. Dobbins with Chiefs
Users on X, formerly Twitter, have discussed Dobbins joining the two-time Super Bowl champs this offseason.
“Fwiw, RB is a little bit of a necessity this year for the #chiefs, even with Pacheco. Personally, I’d want to see JK Dobbins brought in,” one person commented. “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,” one user remarked.

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