If there exists to be any NFL competitor who recently rode a roller coaster of emotions within the Kansas City Chiefs organization, it would be veteran running back C.J. Spiller. Rewinding the time back to February 2017, the Chiefs signed Spiller after he was released by the Seattle Seahawks. Spiller stuck with the team all of the way through preseason action.But once the front office made adjustments to fabricate their 53 man roster, the staff decided with the best intentions of the team to remove the veteran play-maker from the official roster. This was an unexpected move by Kansas City, due to their sudden thin, and young running back corps. Strangely enough within 24 short, yet confusing hours for the Chiefs, the team re-signed Spiller, bringing back his duties to the franchise. Spiller went through ups, downs, twists and turns to find his designated roster spot in Kansas City, and here lies why Kansas City brought Spiller back, and what he brings to the table for the Kansas City Chiefs.
C.J. Spiller – Facing the Unknown for the Kansas City Chiefs
Why Did the Chiefs Cut Spiller To Begin With?
This previous Saturday, Kansas City shocked many with the perplexing decision to liberating Spiller’s duties tied with the franchise. With this decision, it left Kansas City with a predicament of only holding two true running backs on the roster in Kareem Hunt, and Charcandrick West.
After the shocking loss of Kansas City’s projected starting running back in Spencer Ware, it seemed that the Chiefs would hang onto any NFL caliber running back to help fill the hole that Ware suddenly dug. With the previous actions transpiring, Spiller seemed to be in perfect position to hold a roster spot – except for he was not.
Spiller was interestingly enough released for the sake of another player on the roster in cornerback Steven Nelson. The Chiefs felt they needed to hold a roster spot for Nelson, and this created the unfortunate case of Spiller to be the next man up to cut by the team.
Flashing forward 24 or so hours later, the Chiefs were officially able to place Nelson on injured reserves, which created an open roster spot for Spiller to bring his talents back to the franchise.
The team also seemed to take advantage of Spiller’s age by releasing him. With Spiller being a veteran, he is not subjected to waivers at this stage of his career. Following his release, perhaps the Chiefs hoped the release would spark a chain reaction of running backs on the market to be pulled onto the organization’s team roster.
Yet, the Chiefs found no player on the market worth bringing on the team, so they retraced their steps, and decided again; Spiller may be the best option. In the long run, all the Chiefs did was spark a chain reaction of their own, with the peculiar events of Spiller and the Kansas City Chiefs.
This is when the roller coaster phrase comes to play; Spiller was signed by the Chiefs, followed with a release, and then re-signed around 24 hours later. Surely this created frustration on Spiller’s end, unless there was a talk behind the scenes with a plan only Spiller and the front office knew about.
How Spiller Helps the Backfield
Spiller carries a trait that is currently unknown in the backfield – experience. Spiller has seven seasons under his belt, while projected starting running back Hunt has no NFL regular season experience. West on the other hand, has three seasons as a Chief, yet he was never a starter and was lucky to have three plus carries in a single regular season game.
Spiller brings versatility due to his receiving ability and 4.37 40 yard dash speed. On the opposite side of the spectrum, rookie Hunt’s game in college revolved around running the ball with a full head of steam, and teammate West’s style with the Chiefs has been an interesting form of sacrificial involvement in the backfield for Kansas City.
Spiller can carry the second string load behind Hunt and help the conservative offensive scheme go to work. It seems with head coach Andy Reid, and quarterback Alex Smith the running backs play a vital role as a check down receiver, which moves the offense slowly downfield, play by play.
Spiller brings another dimension in the backfield.It is expected as of now that Hunt will carry the load as the starter, but Spiller’s game will add another tool to the offense to help the team reach their full potential. Look for Spiller to use Kansas City to get himself back on track, while only being a role player for the team.
What to Expect From Spiller this Season
This is not an analytical article where predictions will be made towards Spiller’s stats, but it is safe to say this will not be a year where Kansas City will witness 2012 C.J. Spiller going to work.
During his 2012 campaign, Spiller totaled over 1,200 yards with the Buffalo Bills, which is where the majority of success took place. Ever since his breakout 2012 season, Spiller’s numbers have drastically decreased. But to his own defense, throwing a few injuries in Spiller’s NFL career is a legitimate reason for his declining production. This is a trend that Spiller would love to see come to an end, as he works his way back into the league as a superstar that he once was.
No, this does not mean this is necessarily the season Spiller hauls in 1,000 plus yards, but with the thin depth in the backfield, Kansas City will rely on him to carry a reasonable chunk to contribute. Expect Spiller to have a few games where we see his 2012 season shining within, and games where Spiller finds playing time only in small increments.
With that being said, this means that 2017 is a great opportunity for Spiller to hopefully stay injury free, and work his tail off to get back to where he once was in the league.
Welcome Back C.J. Spiller
Spiller has had a dramatic NFL career. He had it made with the Bills for a few seasons, he was their go-to guy. With a few injuries, and cuts made by the next few teams where he tried to re-establish himself, Spiller deserves a well-crafted season with nothing holding him back. This season for the talented veteran is vital because time is unfortunately running out for the once star-studded performer. It seems the Kansas City Chiefs is the quintessential place to get Spiller to get his game back on track, where it deserves to be.