Jamaal Charles is considered one of the best running backs in the NFL right now. But he wants to sketch his name onto the all-time greats list.
The Kansas City Chiefs pro bowl back told the Associated Press that he wants to be in the conversation with two of the greatest backs to have ever suited up in the NFL: Barry Sanders and Emmitt Smith.
“It’s all about staying consistent,” Charles said. “I want to be in the Hall of Fame when I retire. I want to win a championship. That’s what it’s all about.”
While the running back position isn’t as valuable in the present day as it was in the Smith and Sanders era, Charles has established himself as a top runner in the league. He totaled 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns on an efficient 259 carries last season.
Charles, who was a part-time player early in his career, has 5,823 yards and 29 touchdowns in his career. His 12 scores last season were a career high. He also caught a career-best 70 passes for 693 yards and seven scores in 2014. He can do it all, but there is one major fact against him.
He’ll be turning 28 near the conclusion of the season. With the proverbial “running back wall” at 30 years old, he might have limited time, depending on his body, to catch Smith, who is the NFL’s all-time leading rusher, and Sanders.
If Charles can play a couple years into his 30’s and sustain his level of success from last season, he’ll be in prime position to make a case for Hall of Fame candidacy when his time as a player ends.