KANSAS CITY, Mo. — One month ago Damien Williams was the No. 3 running back in the Chiefs backfield, and after the best four-game stretch of his career he finds himself an integral part of the team's future with a new two-year contract extension.
The two-year deal, which keeps Williams in Kansas City through the 2020 season, carries a maximum value of $8.1 million, a source confirmed to ChiefsDigest.com. The club officially announced the deal Friday morning.
Williams played mostly special teams and sparingly on offense through the first 11 games of the season. He rushed three times for just 1 yard and caught three passes for 18 yards.
But after the Chiefs released starter Kareem Hunt and Spencer Ware sustained a hamstring injury, Williams found himself as the team's principal running back the last two weeks. Williams posted the first 100-yard rushing game of his career Sunday night in Seattle, picking up 103 yards on 13 carries.
So far in the month of December, Williams rushed 36 times for 204 yards and three touchdowns. He added 19 catches for 134 yards and two scores. His 338 yards from scrimmage ranks second on the team during December behind only the 360 yards from tight end Travis Kelce.
Williams came to Kansas City as a free agent during the offseason after four seasons with the Miami Dolphins. He signed a one-year, $1.2 million deal that included $60,000 in guaranteed money.
Running backs coach Deland McCullough said on Thursday Williams bring intensity, explosiveness and ability to change direction that brings a spark to the offense. He also said he appreciates the veteran's leadership abilities.
“You love those types of guys,” McCullough said. “:They are highly competitive, they are straight-shooters, they are going to say it how they see it. His intensity and energy is infectious on the sidelines during the games because he wants to win. He goes around and he is hyping guys up and is very emotional during the game.”
Williams joins undrafted rookie Darrel Williams and rookie fullback J.D. Moore, currently on injured reserve, as the only running backs under contract with the Chiefs beyond this season. Ware and fullback Anthony Sherman are both eligible for free agency after the season. The club recently re-signed veteran Charcandrick West to a deal through the end of this season.