Five Landing Spots for Former First-Round Running Back

Clyde Edwards-Helaire Landing Spots

David Kenyon, of Bleacher Report, recently said that Clyde Edwards-Helaire could be cut from the Kansas City Chiefs this off-season with many teams considered viable landing spots.

The former first-round pick had a turbulent 2022. His poor performances and piling injuries saw him benched by seventh-round rookie Isaiah Pacheco and change-of-pace back Jerick McKinnon. By the end of the year, Edwards-Helaire even fell behind Ronald Jones in the depth chart. The veteran back was activated for the Super Bowl while Edwards-Helaire did not suit up.

Early in his career, Edwards-Helaire showed a lot of promise. He flashed as a potential three-down running back, showing good power, elusiveness and receiving threat. However, since his rookie year, he has failed to show development. Critics might even go as far as to say that he has regressed.

With the former LSU running back falling out of favor with the Chiefs, many signs point to him being on his way out. What are Edwards-Helaire’s top landing spots, should he leave Kansas City?

Five Clyde Edwards-Helaire Landing Spots

Arizona Cardinals

The Arizona Cardinals would be an excellent landing spot for Clyde Edwards-Helaire. The Cardinals need more bodies at running back. As it stands, James Conner is the primary back. However, behind him, the team have just Corey Clement and Keaontay Ingram. Reliable depth is thus a necessity.

While the Cardinals are rumored to be interested in Kareem Hunt, Edwards-Helaire may fit their timeline more. The 24-year-old is entering the last year of his rookie deal. With the Cardinals currently undergoing a rebuild, taking a flier on Edwards-Helaire makes a lot of sense. He is a short-term commitment and, should he excel, the team can sign him to another deal.

From Edwards-Helaire’s perspective, a move to the desert makes sense too. Arizona would be able to offer Edwards-Helaire a substantial role behind Conner. Given the low expectations in Arizona, Edwards-Helaire will also be able to rebuild his confidence.

Baltimore Ravens

The Baltimore Ravens are another side that might want to add some depth. Todd Monken’s new offense is expected to remain run-heavy, in true Baltimore style. As such, any quality running back depth is welcome. As it stands, the team have J.K. Dobbins, Gus Edwards and Justice Hill. When healthy, they are an effective trio. However, the three were marred by injuries in 2022.

Edwards-Helaire would merely be a depth addition in Baltimore. It is unlikely he would surpass any of the aforementioned running backs. However, he could find a specialized role in Monken’s offense. Monken, who has often utilized receiving backs, could deploy Edwards-Helaire in such a role. This is something that both Dobbins and Edwards have limited experience in.

Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings seem determined to move Dalvin Cook and his $10 million cap hit. If they do, they will only be left with Alexander Mattison, Ty Chandler and rookie DeWayne McBride. Adding Edwards-Helaire on a contract year could provide some quality depth to this thin group. As such, the Vikings should be considered one of Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s top landing spots, should Cook be traded.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have minimal depth at running back currently. Rachaad White had a good rookie year but may not be given the keys to the kingdom just yet. The team also signed Chase Edmonds, but he figures to be a change-of-pace back. As such, acquiring Edwards-Helaire gives Tampa Bay some more help at running back.

New Orleans Saints

The New Orleans Saints may opt to move off from Alvin Kamara. The star running back is facing some legal trouble, which could be enough for New Orleans to cut ties. Even if they do not, there is a strong chance that Kamara is suspended. Aside from off-field drama, Kamara has also taken a step back in terms of production over the last couple of years.

Given the situation with Kamara, Edwards-Helaire could be a smart signing. The former first-round pick can do some of what Kamara does, though at a much lower level. He also provides competition in a running back room that needs depth behind Kamara. New arrival Jamaal Williams was excellent as a goal-line back last year but has not proven enough to be a feature back. Kendre Miller is just a rookie and may not be ready for substantial action in 2023. Edwards-Helaire could alleviate some of these problems for New Orleans.

Other Clyde Edwards-Helaire Landing Spots

The Denver Broncos may be another team to watch. New head coach Sean Payton is expected to implement a multi-back system in Denver, hence their aggressive pursuit of Samaje Perine. However, Javonte Williams’ complex knee injury could put a spanner in the works. As such, the Broncos could try to sign Edwards-Helaire to add more depth and quality to their running back room. The fact that Edwards-Helaire could leak some useful insights about a division rival’s playbook is merely a bonus.

Another team that could benefit from insights on the Chiefs’ playbook? The Cincinnati Bengals. Not only would the Bengals enjoy the extra intel they could also have a genuine need at running back. Like Kamara, Joe Mixon’s legal troubles may catch up to him. If they do, and the Bengals move on from Mixon, Edwards-Helaire would be a necessary supplement to Trayveon Williams, Chris Evans and rookie Chase Brown.

Main Photo: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports