Jamaal Charles retires as a Chief, but could he become a Pro Football Hall of Famer?

Blair Kerkhoff, The Kansas City Star on

Published in Football

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- As he was rolling up 1,000-yard rushing seasons, Jamaal Charles was running toward a Pro Football Hall of Fame career.

With his career over after signing a one-day contract Wednesday to retire as a member of the Chiefs (and taking a ceremonial handoff from Patrick Mahomes), the question becomes: Did Charles run far enough?

Charles believes so.

"Some of my numbers look way better than some people already in Canton," Charles said in an interview with TMZ posted in early April.

He's right. Charles' 7,563 career yards (7,260 with the Chiefs) rank No. 56 heading into the 2019 season. No. 60 is Leroy Kelly, who rushed for 7,274 yards with the Browns. At 68 is John Henry Johnson, who ran for 6,803 yards, mostly with the Steelers.

Down the list are Hall of Famers Floyd Little, Gale Sayers and Marion Motley.


Just above Charles at No. 55 is Terrell Davis, who finished his career with 44 more rushing yards. Davis was enshrined in 2017.

Among those with more rushing yards who are Hall of Fame eligible but not in: Edgerrin James (12,246), Fred Taylor (11,695) and Priest Holmes (8,172).

Charles is a difficult call. The greatest selling point for his candidacy is the incredible 5.4 rushing yards per attempt. This ranks fourth in NFL history, second among running backs.

Charles was incredible at slipping through a crease, finding an opening and, like the Roadrunner -- poof! -- gone. He had seven touchdown runs of 50 yards or more.


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