Heaps: Seahawks ‘have to open up their wallet’ to re-sign Rashaad Penny in down RB market

Jan 11, 2022, 9:47 AM
Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny...
Rashaad Penny of the Seattle Seahawks stiff arms Kindle Vildor of the Chicago Bears during the third quarter at Lumen Field. (Steph Chambers/Getty Images)
(Steph Chambers/Getty Images)

Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny entered the final game of the season on a tear, rushing for over 135 yards in three of his previous four games. So naturally he set a career-high in rushing yards in the season finale in Arizona.

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A week after rushing for a then-career-high 170 yards against the Detroit Lions, Penny tallied 190 yards and a score against the Cardinals, including a career-long 62-yard touchdown run.

Injuries had slowed the former first-round pick’s career, but he absolutely exploded for the Seahawks to end the season, running for 671 yards on 92 carries (7.3 yards per carry) and seven touchdowns over Seattle’s final five games of the year.

Penny is set to hit free agency for the first time in his career, and it appears he’ll be more sought after than anyone could have imagined a month ago after his ridiculous finish to the 2021 season.

What will it take for the Seahawks to bring back their 2018 first-round pick for at least one more season? Former NFL quarterback Jake Heaps broke it down in the Four-Down Territory segment on Monday’s edition of Jake and Stacy on 710 ESPN Seattle.

“What it’s going to take to get Rashaad Penny back is they’re going to have to open up their wallet a little bit,” Heaps said. “A little bit more than maybe what everybody was anticipating to finish the season.”

The rest of the free agent market for running backs, Heaps said, should help Penny make more money on the open market than anyone would have thought a month or two ago.

“The running back free agent class is really, really down. The only guy that really brings any serious interest to me is a guy like James Conner, who’s having an outstanding year with the Arizona Cardinals. After that, it gets really muddy,” he said. “… Outside of Melvin Gordon (who I think will re-sign with the Broncos), Rashaad Penny is by far the most dynamic, most talented running back in this free agent class.”

With Penny’s skillset and a lackluster free agent running back class, Heaps anticipates plenty of teams being interested in Penny.

On Monday, Penny told reporters he loves the team and franchise as the Seahawks never gave up on him despite all the injuries he’s suffered, and he made it very clear he wants to stay in Seattle. So what would a deal look like between the two sides?

“I still believe this comes down to an incentive-laden type of contract, a one-year or maybe a two-year deal,” Heaps said. “But I do believe that Rashaad Penny is going to give himself a nice little payday. He said that he wants to return to Seattle and that’s all positive, that’s great to hear him say that, but I think the Seahawks are going to put forth a little bit more effort than what they were originally thinking to be able to get back Rashaad Penny.”

Listen to the Heaps’ full thoughts in the second hour of Monday’s Jake and Stacy at this link or in the player below.

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