Could former Denver Broncos running back Jamaal Charles be headed for the Pro Football Hall of Fame?
TMZ recently caught up with Charles who opined over his respectable career and mused about what could be next for him. After being released by the Kansas City Chiefs following the 2016 season, he was signed by Denver and then largely ignored for most of 2017 due to poor, well, (gestures wildly in Vance Joseph’s direction) whatever that was. Charles spent 13 days with the Jacksonville Jaguars during the 2018 season, but his run there was about as special as a 13-day stint can be.
Mile High Report’s sister site, Arrowhead Pride, points out that Charles does have some numbers that appear to support a bid to the hall of fame.
Over his career, Charles has averaged 5.4 yards per rushing attempt. Among running backs, that’s second only to Hall of Famer Marion Motley, and more than Hall of Fame running backs Jim Brown, Joe Perry, Gale Sayers and Barry Sanders — not to mention more recent inductee Terrell Davis.
With the exceptions of TD and Barry Sanders, it’s not a great argument when slotting yourself among the all-time greats of the game to install your star adjacent to folks that played in the 1950’s and 1960’s. I would hope his stats would be better than those guys, none of them had the luxury of a 16-game season to work with.
When you stack Charles’ stats up against other Chiefs, Charles may have the edge as top running back in Kansas City’s history (7,260-yards rushing), but when you look at his career as a whole, his total yards, Broncos and Jaguars stints included, he actually comes in behind Priest Holmes (8,172-yards, including his time playing for the Baltimore Ravens). It also needs to be noted that during Charles’ 9 seasons awkwardly enabling culturally offensive tomahawk chops at Arrowhead Stadium, he only averaged 70-yards per game. Charles’ would-be hall of fame “contemporary” Terrell Davis averaged 97.5 yards per game. Barry Sanders? Try 99.8-yards per game.
Okay, so Jamaal Charles isn’t the best all around rusher in Chief’s history, but he may not need to be. Where does he fall with regard to other former Denver Broncos running backs in the NFL?
Clinton Portis currently has the 32nd most rushing yards of all time with 9,923-yards. Remember Willis McGahee? With 8,474-yards rushing, he is the 41st running back in terms of yards. Then there’s Terrell Davis, who, even with a shortened career, managed to get 44-yards more than Jamaal Charles, positioning himself at number 55 on the all time list, just before Charles at 56. If the claim can be made for Charles, what about Portis and McGahee? To their credit, they have at least enjoyed a playoff victory.
So what of that? Maybe Charles’ accolades and recognition beyond stats can make the case for a call to the hall.
Jamaal Charles was selected to the pro bowl four times, was a two-time first-team all pro, a one-time second-team all pro, and was the rushing touchdown leader in 2013. He only ever played in two playoff games his entire career and lost both. He never played in a Super Bowl. He was never a Super Bowl MVP. He was never a league MVP.
I’ll give you this. Jamaal Charles was really good. I really liked him when he signed with the Broncos and what Vance Joseph did with him while he was in Denver was borderline criminal. Charles showed all the potential of something special when he flashed on the field in orange and blue, but for whatever reason it just didn’t work out. That is truly a bummer. However, even if he had excelled at an extremely high level as a Bronco and even as a Jaguar, it would still be damn near impossible to include him in any sort of hall of fame discussion.
Is Jamaal Charles a hall of famer? I think you knew that answer before you even clicked on this article.
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