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Seahawks RB Chris Carson
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Carson says he’s a top-5 RB, but will the Seahawks pay him like one?

Seahawks RB Chris Carson thinks he's a top-five NFL RB, but will Seattle pay him like one? (Getty)

After getting 52 rushing yards on just eight carries (due largely to game flow), including an impressive 29-yard touchdown run, and catching six balls for 27 yards, Seahawks running back Chris Carson joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Bob, Dave and Moore on Monday and said that he feels he’s a top-five running back in the NFL.

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Carson rushed for over 1,000 yards in both 2018 and 2019 and while he’s not as featured as a runner in this year’s offense, which is putting more of an emphasis on passing the ball, he’s still been productive, rushing for 289 yards and three rushing touchdowns. He’s also showcased his ability to catch the ball, snagging 21 receptions for 140 yards and three scores.

Carson is on the final year of his rookie contract, and with the Seahawks having drafted a running back in each of the last three drafts after selecting Carson in the seventh round in 2017, it’s unclear whether or not he will stay in Seattle after this season.

But should the Seahawks pay Carson? And if so, will Carson be paid like a top-five running back? Former NFL quarterback and current FOX broadcaster Brock Huard joined 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant Thursday and shared his thoughts on the matter.

If the Seahawks are to pay Carson, he’ll have to show he’s gotten over two key negatives regarding his NFL tenure.

“He will have to stay healthy this entire season, he will have to stop giving the ball away and being loose with the football and his ball control,” Huard said. “And he’s going to have to be the dominant guy that’s he’s absolutely shown (he can be) in big, big spurts. He’s going to have to have to show that over the course of the entire season.”

Carson suffered season ending injuries in both 2017 and 2019 and also missed two games in 2018. In 2019, he fumbled six times.

Huard said it will be interesting to see how Carson views himself financially when contract talks begin after the season with the Seahawks and potentially other teams.

“I think he and his agent are going to have to figure out and gauge this market of ‘OK, where do we fit in this?'” Huard said.

Huard looked at some top running back dollars, such as Christian McCaffrey in Carolina, Alvin Kamara in New Orleans and Dalvin Cook in Minnesota, all of whom have new deals worth over $12 million a year. Huard also looked at the deal that Melvin Gordon got from Denver this offseason for two years and $16 million, which he thinks is more reasonable for both Carson and the Seahawks.

“Where am I on that spectrum? Where am I reasonably on that spectrum? Also, what do I want to try and get out of this?” Huard said.

In Huard’s eyes, Carson has two key motivators that could make or break a return to the Seahawks for 2021 and beyond, while also noting that the salary cap is likely going down, which could greatly impact Carson’s market.

“Chris Carson bounced around during high school, he bounced around in college,” he said. ” … And he was a seventh-round pick who hasn’t made his coin … And as a former seventh-rounder that has not made that guaranteed money and anywhere into the millions, would he take a two-year, $15 million deal with $10 million of it guaranteed?”

Huard thinks a deal similar to Gordon’s in Denver would be fair for both Carson and the Seahawks when comparing him to other running backs across the league who have gotten large extensions recently.

“I don’t think he catches it as well out of the backfield or run routes like Aaron Jones or Alvin Kamara, Christian McCaffrey, Ezekiel Elliott, but I think as far as a runner, there’s not more than five guys in this league that are more violent and vicious and the team on the other side just doesn’t want to tackle,” he said.

And there’s one key factor that could push the Seahawks to ink Carson to a new deal, and that’s the team’s best player, quarterback Russell Wilson.

“And we know the numbers when he’s paired with Russell and Russell is a different guy without him,” Huard said. “Russell loves having that big old No. 32 behind him and the impact he has on games. For me, I’d do that deal.”

Listen to the full conversation at this link or in the player below.

Follow Brock Huard on Twitter.

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