The Kansas City Chiefs are bringing back another key contributor from last year’s Super Bowl run, running back Jerick McKinnon.
Field Yates of ESPN initially reported the signing Tuesday, though Chiefs general manager Brett Veach alluded to an impending move on Monday.
The financial terms of the deal haven’t been reported as of press time.
McKinnon is coming off arguably the best season of his career. In 2022, he posted 803 total yards from scrimmage and racked up 10 total touchdowns, nine of which came through the air. He became the first running back in the Super Bowl era to record a receiving touchdown in five straight games, setting the record at six games between Weeks 12-17.
After missing the entirety of the 2018 and 2019 seasons due to injuries, McKinnon spent 2020 with the San Francisco 49ers and the last two with the Chiefs. Over those two seasons, McKinnon has racked up 353 yards rushing, 619 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns combined.
“You know, he is a quarterback, a legitimate quarterback in college, so he kind of knows how the game works as a whole and he is patient with that,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said in January. “I think that helps him in the run game, knowing how gaps are set up, knowing how secondaries fill for the run, and again he can catch the ball on top of all of that. He can run and he’s a good catcher.”
This reunion wasn’t entirely surprising, with Veach mentioning before last week’s NFL draft that the Chiefs would eventually re-visit conversations with the soon-to-be 31-year-old running back.
Almost all of Kansas City’s rushing production from last season is now set to return in 2023. Along with McKinnon, Isiah Pacheco will return for his sophomore season after leading the team in rushing a year ago, while former first-round pick Clyde Edwards-Helaire is also still on the roster. Entering Year 4 of his career, the Chiefs have to decide whether or not to pick up his fifth-year option by Wednesday afternoon. No decision has been publicly announced yet.
The Chiefs also added former Tulsa running back Deneric Prince as an undrafted free agent this week to round out the group.