Chiefs RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire’s fifth-year option decision coming up in 2023

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NFL teams will soon be making decisions on fifth-year options for 2019 first-round draft picks.

The league deadline for exercising fifth-year options for the 2023 NFL season is coming up on May 2. The Kansas City Chiefs don’t have a decision to make this year. They, of course, traded away their first-round draft pick in 2019 to acquire Frank Clark from the Seattle Seahawks in the first year of a defensive rebuild under Steve Spagnuolo. While the team will avoid a tough choice in 2019, they’ve got one coming up next season.

In 2020, the Chiefs drafted RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the first round of the draft and the team will have a decision to make on his fifth-year option in 2023. It was the first time that Brett Veach had made a first-round pick during his tenure as general manager. Fresh off a national championship win with LSU, expectations were high for Edwards-Helaire right off the bat. Unfortunately, the running back has fallen well short of those expectations.

Over his first two seasons in Kansas City, he’s played in just 26-of-39 possible games (combined regular season and postseason). These absences have largely been due to injuries. As a rookie, he suffered an ankle sprain and a hip injury in late December that lingered into the playoffs. His injury luck in his second year wasn’t much better either. It started with an August ankle sprain limiting him in the preseason and training camp. In October he suffered an MCL sprain which saw him placed on injured reserve. In Week 16, he suffered a shoulder injury that kept him out until the divisional round of the playoffs.

Despite the injuries, Edwards-Helaire has managed fair production over his first two seasons with 328 carries for 1,487 yards and nine rushing touchdowns. He’s also caught 60 passes on 86 targets for 462 yards and three touchdowns. Edwards-Helaire hasn’t yet been selected for Pro Bowl or All-Pro honors, which will have an impact on his projected fifth-year option contract number. He currently doesn’t reach playtime percentage numbers that would help boost his contract value, which means he’s currently projected to make between $5 million and $6 million on a fifth-year option.

Edwards-Helaire’s 2022 NFL season and his ability to stay healthy during it will be an important piece of the discussion when it comes to his fifth-year option. A healthy year as the lead back in Kansas City could completely flip the script on his future outlook. He was coming on strong in the playoffs, in games where Jerick McKinnon started over him.

Would you bring Edwards-Helaire back on a fifth-year option contract if the cost is around roughly $6 million fully guaranteed? Let us know your thoughts on in the comment section down below.

Author: Lucy Green