Chiefs sign running back Damien Williams

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Damien Williams will provide some depth behind Kareem Hunt and Spencer Ware in the Chiefs’ backfield.

The Kansas City Chiefs added another piece to their backfield on Thursday, signing running back Damien Williams to a one-year contract worth $1.5 million. Williams joins the Chiefs after spending his first four years with the Miami Dolphins.

Williams slides in behind Kareem Hunt and Spencer Ware on the depth chart, though injuries complicate this situation a bit. Ware is still recovering from a torn PCL and LCL he suffered in preseason last year, while Williams had shoulder surgery after the season ended. None of these men are a real threat to Hunt, who won the league’s rushing title in his rookie year. Williams could end up competing with Charcandrick West for a roster spot.

Williams didn’t do much as a runner in Miami, averaging just 3.9 yards per carry in 2017. He spent most of the year backing up Jay Ajayi and Kenyan Drake. Williams does have a little versatility in the passing game, with 85 catches in four seasons. He also contributed on kick returns, recording 457 return yards in 2015. That special teams experience could give Williams a leg up in the roster battle. Otherwise, this is a pure depth signing for the Chiefs, whose running game is in good hands after Hunt’s breakout year.

Contract details

National reaction

Grade

Williams probably isn’t a lock to make the 53-man roster, especially if Ware recovers from his injury on schedule. That said, he has a decent shot at beating out West for the third running back spot, and can also fill in on special teams if needed. With so little money at stake, this is a low-risk signing for a player who’s been a useful backup in the past.

Grade: C+





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