The Kansas City Chiefs GM likes what he sees from veteran running back C.J. Spiller, specifically that he has his “speed and twitch” back.
Earlier in the offseason, it was easy to roll your eyes and move on from the transactions list when it read the Kansas City Chiefs had signed running back C.J. Spiller. The veteran has largely been a bust since entering the NFL as the Buffalo Bills first round pick in 2010. After failing to live up to expectations in Buffalo, Spiller has come and gone from the New Orleans Saints, New York Jets and Seattle Seahawks. In other words, there’s little reason to expect anything but Spiller to be a body in camp for the Chiefs.
However, John Dorsey, the team’s general manager, raised some eyebrows on Friday when speaking about Spiller. Specifically, he said he recognized the speed, quickness and twitch from Spiller’s college days before signing him earlier this offseason.
“I saw the quickness and the speed that he had in college,” said Dorsey at a press conference on Friday. “He was nursing a knee injury – I think when he was with the Saints, and then, he went to Seattle. I saw that twitch back in him that he had earlier in his career.”
When Spiller was selected at No. 9 overall in 2010 out of Clemson, it was widely accepted that he was the premiere back available in the draft. Check out the instant analysis from ESPN’s draft experts after that years first round.
Spiller is an excellent value here because of his versatility and playmaking ability. He’s a threat to score every time he touches the ball, whether as a runner out of the backfield, a receiver working the slot or returning kicks. He has excellent explosiveness, can make defenders miss in space, and can outrun defenses when he gets a seam. He is clearly the best back available in this year’s class.
Unfortunately for the Bills, Spiller only had one truly great season in 2012 (his only Pro Bowl) and another good one the following year. Fred Jackson was always in Spiller’s way and a collarbone injury took its toll. It seemed the Bills never quite knew how to use their talented back.
Spiller fared even worse in New Orleans after signing a four-year deal worth $16 million. It wasn’t long before he was rendered inactive on game days despite being healthy. He started two games for $9 million guaranteed. The short stints with the Jets and Seahawks speak for themselves.
Should the Chiefs expect anything? Dorsey seems like he’s got reason to believe in Spiller enough to bring him in. The Chiefs have enjoyed an energized, versatile veteran before when Joe McKnight came in to score a couple key touchdowns for the Chiefs as a running back and returner. Perhaps Spiller can help ease the loss of Knile Davis by providing depth in both spaces. If “the twitch,” as unquantifiable as that can be, is back, the maybe the Chiefs can brag about another offseason steal.
At one point, everyone believed in Spiller. Now, Spiller is fortunate that at least one man does. It might just be that man who allows him to truly shine again.
washingtonpost.com > Sports
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS is strictly prohibited.
|Oct. 19, 2017 8:41 PM PT9:41 PM MT10:41 PM CT11:41 PM ET3:41 GMT11:41 8:41 PM MST10:41 PM EST10:41 PM CT7:41 UAE (+1)23:41 ETNaN:� - C.J. Spiller ran for zero yards on two carries Thursday in the Kansas City Chiefs' 31-30 loss to the Oakland Raiders.|
|Sep. 16, 2017 9:46 AM PT10:46 AM MT11:46 AM CT12:46 PM ET16:46 GMT0:46 9:46 AM MST11:46 AM EST11:46 AM CT20:46 UAE12:46 ETNaN:� - The Chiefs once again released Spiller in advance of Sunday's game against the Philadelphia Eagles. |
Analysis: Spiller, 30, has been dropped by the Chiefs three times this month. He initially was released during the team's final roster cut down, only to be brought back the following day when cornerback Steven Nelson was placed on injured reserve. Spiller was then re-signed and released again on the day of the season opener so the team would not have to guarantee his contract for 2017. He was re-signed again the next day. This could finally signal the end to his days in KC.
|Sep. 2, 2017 1:56 PM PT2:56 PM MT3:56 PM CT4:56 PM ET20:56 GMT4:56 1:56 PM MST3:56 PM EST3:56 PM CT0:56 UAE (+1)16:56 ETNaN:� - Spiller was released by the Chiefs on Saturday.|
Analysis: The veteran running back may have been the biggest surprise of the 30 players cut by Kansas City. Not only did he appear rejuvenated after a long history of injuries, his release left the Chiefs with rookie Kareem Hunt and Charcandrick West as the only running backs on their roster.
|Feb. 24, 2017 9:28 AM PT10:28 AM MT11:28 AM CT12:28 PM ET17:28 GMT1:28 10:28 AM MST12:28 PM EST11:28 AM CT21:28 UAE12:28 ETNaN:� - The Chiefs have signed Spiller, providing depth behind Spencer Ware in a move that could mean Jamaal Charles will be cut in a cost-saving move.|
Analysis: Spiller only carried six times in stints with the Jets and Seahawks last season. The former first-round pick signed a four-year, $16 million deal with the Saints in 2015 but only played in 13 games before he was released.
Regular Season Stats
|Career Rushing/Receiving Stats|
|Career Defensive Stats|
|Career Returning Stats|
|Year||Team||G||Punt Ret||Yds||Avg||TDs||Kick Ret||Yds||Avg||TDs|