Chiefs release franchise rushing leader Jamaal Charles

The Kansas City Chiefs have released running back Jamaal Charles, the team announced Tuesday.

Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt, general manager John Dorsey and coach Andy Reid all praised Charles in a team statement.

"I have a great deal of admiration for Jamaal Charles, his toughness, and what he's been able to achieve in his time in Kansas City," Dorsey said. "These decisions are never easy, but we felt it was in the best interests of the club to move on at this time. We wish Jamaal and his family the best of luck in their next step."

Charles, 30, joined the Chiefs in 2008 as a third-round draft pick from Texas. He became their featured back midway through the 2009 season and went on to become the most prolific running back in franchise history.

He is the Chiefs' all-time leader in rushing yards (7,260) and averaged 5.5 yards per carry. He has the team's single-game rushing record (259 against Denver in 2010).

"On behalf of my family and the entire Kansas City Chiefs team, I'd like to thank Jamaal Charles for his contributions and dedication over the last nine seasons," Hunt said. "Jamaal has been one of the most prolific players in our organization's history, and I have an enormous amount of respect for what he has accomplished.

"He'll always be a part of the Chiefs family, and we'll be ready to honor him for his outstanding playing career when the time is right."

There's no telling what Charles could have accomplished if his career wasn't interrupted by ACL injuries in 2011 and 2015. He missed 14 games in 2011 and 24 games in 2015 and '16 combined.

Charles bounced back nicely the first time, setting his career high with 1,509 rushing yards in 2012. In 2013 he set his career high in touchdowns with 19 (12 rushing and seven receiving).

"I've been privileged to work with a lot of talented players over the years, and Jamaal Charles ranks up there with the great ones," Reid said. "I appreciate the way he came to work every day, he gave us everything he had day in and day out. I've said it before, I think he's a future Hall of Famer."

Charles has been unable to fully rebound from his second ACL injury. He returned to play in the fourth game last season against Pittsburgh. He also played in the two subsequent games, scoring what would be his final Chiefs touchdown in a game against Oakland.

Because of soreness in the knee, he soon went on the injured reserve list and had arthroscopic knee surgery. He was eligible to be activated late in the regular season but the Chiefs declined to do so.

Spencer Ware, 25, led Kansas City in rushing last season, gaining921 yards and averaging 4.3 yards per carry.

ESPN's Adam Teicher contributed to this report.

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