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Seahawks Chris Carson
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Moore: Will the Seahawks’ future include Chris Carson at RB?

Seahawks running back Chris Carson is set to be a free agent after the 2020 season. (Getty)

I know Chris Carson had had some fumbling issues and hasn’t finished two of his three seasons with the Seahawks because of injuries, but I still look at him as one of the best running backs in the league.

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When I thought of him having a third 1,000-yard season in 2020, I figured that would be that for Carson in Seattle. Surely he’d be off to another team that would pay him $9 million or $10 million a year and the Seahawks would let him go rather than put the franchise tag on him.

In 2021, they would hope that Carlos Hyde might sign another team-friendly contract or go with Rashaad Penny or maybe even Travis Homer or DeeJay Dallas in some sort of running back by committee.

But then we talked to Michael Ginnitti of Spotrac last Thursday on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Bob, Dave and Moore, and he speculated that Carson would be lucky to get $4.5 to $5 million in free agency (the interview with Ginnitti starts 25 minutes into this podcast).

Carson’s in a tough spot at a tough position. I don’t understand why running backs are devalued as much as they are, but that’s certainly the case in the NFL. I was reading a story on the Bengals website about salaries by position. Of the offensive players with annual salaries of $10 million or more, 23 are tackles, 20 are quarterbacks and eight are centers. Running backs? Only five.

So Carson’s up against that slight, and you could actually call it a triple whammy against running backs after the 2020 season. Carson faces a crowded free-agent running backs field that also features Leonard Fournette, Dalvin Cook, Aaron Jones, Joe Mixon, Alvin Kamari, Phillip Lindsay, Marlon Mack, Kenyan Drake, Todd Gurley, James Conner, Matt Brenda, Kareem Hunt and Tarik Cohen.

On top of that, the 2021 NFL draft will be loaded with potentially terrific running backs. It would be hard to fault a general manager for choosing a rookie running back and having him under club control contract-wise for the next four years – especially if he could approximate what a higher-paid veteran could give you.

The next offseason, when it comes to charting the future at running back, should be great for the Seahawks yet extremely disappointing for Chris Carson.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Jim Moore on Twitter.

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