JOHN CLAYTON

Clayton: What Rashaad Penny can get from Seahawks after big finish

Jan 13, 2022, 2:00 PM
Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny...
Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny runs the ball for a touchdown during the fourth quarter against Houston. (Tim Warner/Getty Images)
(Tim Warner/Getty Images)

While Seahawks ownership has its meeting with Pete Carroll and John Schneider, it’s time to look ahead to what might happen with Rashaad Penny.

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By midseason, the fourth-year running back had virtually no chance of returning to Seattle in 2022. Injuries plagued his first 3 1/2 years after the Seahawks selected him in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft.

In 2021, Penny missed seven of the Seahawks’ first 11 games, and by Week 13 he had only 78 yards. He wasn’t a factor.

Then the Seahawks signed all-time great running back Adrian Peterson to their practice squad, and Peterson coached Penny up. As it turned out, Penny became of the hottest running backs in the league. In his last five games, he rushed for 671 yards, including four games with 135 yards or more. He was on fire.

Now, the Seahawks have to re-sign him.

Some people wonder about the price, but it won’t be bad. Running backs don’t get much money in free agency anymore if they move to new teams. Two years ago, Melvin Gordon got $16 million over two years to move to Denver, so $8 million a year. Last year, Kenyan Drake got two years, $11 million to go to Las Vegas, and he wasn’t even going to be the team’s starter.

That’s why I think Penny could get something similar to what the Seahawks gave Chris Carson last offseason. Carson signed for $5.2 million a year on a two-year deal. That will probably be the high end of Penny’s market.

One of the problems is that there aren’t that many unrestricted free-agent running backs hitting the market each year. I counted up only about seven in this year’s market. The only running back in the top 10 free agents this year is Gordon, and money projections have him going for a $6 million salary or less. Teams are more interested in signing their own free-agent running backs and adding to the position in the draft.

With his second half of the season, Penny put himself in position to get a payday. It’s just not going to be as big as people think.

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