KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the club’s first-round selection in the 2020 NFL Draft, won’t have the fifth-year option in his rookie contract exercised, a league source told Chiefs Digest on Tuesday.
The deadline for teams to pick up the fifth-year option for first-round choices in the 2020 NFL Draft expires at 3 p.m. central time Tuesday. If the Chiefs exercised the option, Edward-Helaire would have received a salary of approximately $5.46 million for the 2024 season.
The fourth-year running back remains under contract with the club for the upcoming campaign. Edwards-Helaire is slated to count $3.44 million toward the salary cap in 2023 including a base salary of $1.986 million.
Edwards-Helaire began last season as the team’s starter in the backfield but eventually gave way to rookie Isiah Pacheco. Injuries limited the 24-year-old to 10 games in which he rushed for 302 yards and three scores while averaging 4.3 yards per carry. He also caught 17 passes for 151 yards.
General manager Brett Veach said on Monday Edwards-Helaire remains in the team’s plans for 2023.
“We’re excited though for Clyde this season,” Veach said. “He was actually the first guy I saw in the building today, in tremendous shape. He’s a good football player.”
In addition to Edwards-Helaire and Pacheco, the club also has La’Mical Perine under contract. Veteran Jerick McKinnon is also visiting with the club on Tuesday and expects to re-sign with the Chiefs soon. The team has also agreed to terms with Deneric Prince, an undrafted free agent from Tulsa who plans to participate in the club’s rookie minicamp this weekend.
Where Edwards-Helaire fits into the rotation this season remains up in the air but the Chiefs plan to give him a chance to earn a meaningful role
“But needless to say, we’re excited to have him back in the building today and look forward to hopefully a healthy 2023 campaign for him,” Veach added.