NFL Teams

Should the Chiefs Trade Larry Johnson?

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Photo courtesy kcchiefs.com
Kansas City Chiefs running back Larry Johnson is looking for a new contract. And he’s willing to boycott training camp to get one. But rather than try to wage a losing battle in contract negotiations with this fantasy favorite, the Chiefs should consider trading LJ while his stock is so high.

I like that LJ’s agent, Alvin Keels, made it clear that greed is not why they are looking for more money:

“The point I’d like to get out is that if we were to have to hold out, it would be for the sake of good business, not being greedy. It’s not good business for a player who rushes the ball 416 times in a season, back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons, back-to-back 1,700-yard seasons, back-to-back broken Kansas City Chiefs records, it’s not good business for him to come back in and play for $1.7 million. And that’s a sensitive area because $1.7 million is a lot more than most people in Kansas City make.”

Even a premiere running back’s shelf life in the NFL is shorter than at any other position. And at 27 years old, if LJ plays for longer than five more seasons I’d be surprised. Especially considering the number of carries he had last season, a record-setting 416. I know it might sound absurd to attempt to trade a player of this (current) caliber, but in what’s expected to be a rebuilding season for the Chiefs, it might just make the most sense. NFL Europa offensive co-MVP Derrick Ross will be in camp along with Priest Holmes (remember him?), Michael Bennett, Marcus O’Keith, and Kolby Smith, so it won’t be the end of the world, especially if the trade includes another running back. I say go for it. Send him to a RB-hungry playoff contender like the Eagles, Giants or Packers and get a good return — a really good return — on one of the best running backs in the NFL.

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