The Kansas City Chiefs bolstered their young, relatively unproven backfield Saturday by signing veteran running back Carlos Hyde to a $2.8 million contract for the 2019 season.
The deal includes $1.6 million guaranteed, a person familiar with the terms told The Associated Press. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the terms were not disclosed.
The 28-year-old Hyde was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars on Friday, and the Chiefs moved swiftly in inviting him for a visit. They were seeking help behind Damien Williams and Darrel Williams, who became their top two running backs when Kareem Hunt was released last season.
“We certainly like a bigger back,” Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said during last week’s scouting combine. “I certainly have a thing for 220-pound backs that can run and catch and block.”
The 6-foot, 229-pound Hyde certainly fits that mold.
He was a second-round pick of the 49ers in 2014, and he came within 50 yards of eclipsing 1,000 twice during his four-year stay in San Francisco. Hyde signed a $15 million, three-year deal with the Browns last season, but he appeared in just six games before a midseason trade to Jacksonville.
Hyde wound up making two starts and appearing in eight games for the Jaguars, though he never made much of an impact. He finished with 58 carries for 189 yards and never reached the end zone, and the Jaguars decided Friday to release him when no trade opportunities materialized.
Still, he represents a low-risk, high-upside addition to a dynamic Chiefs offense.
With league MVP Patrick Mahomes under center, the Chiefs shattered just about every franchise record — and quite a few NFL marks — while reaching the AFC title game last season. And while most of their pressing issues lie on defense, Veach and Chiefs coach Andy Reid said they’d be open to any offseason moves that could potentially put them over the hump.
Damien Williams is expected to remain the starter after he assumed Hunt’s job, and he gouged Indianapolis for 129 yards rushing in the playoffs. In fact, Williams was so steady that Kansas City signed him in December to a two-year extension worth up to $8.1 million.
“He just needed an opportunity. And when the opportunity presented itself, he kind of took it and ran with it. That is why we extended him,” Veach said. “He’s always been a talented player. He can run, catch and block. He can really do everything. He was great on special teams. I would say going into the offseason and going into the 2019 season, it’s Damien’s job to lose.”
He’ll have a little more competition now, though.