How does Carson changing agents impact contract talks with Seahawks?
One of the Seahawks’ best players could find himself playing through 2020 without a long-term deal in place. That would be running back Chris Carson, who after being drafted in the seventh round in 2017, has emerged as one of the top backs in the NFL.
After an injured ankle cut his rookie campaign short, Carson bounced back with over 1,000 rushing in 14 games in 2018. In 2019, he continued as Seattle’s lead back and ran for a career-high 1,230 yards in 15 games, but he injured his hip in Week 16 and missed the rest of the season and postseason. His role is especially important given head coach Pete Carroll’s affinity for powerful running of the football on offense.
Now, with just the 2020 season left on his rookie deal, Carson will be looking for a long-term deal to stay in Seattle. That especially seems to be the case now that Carson, according to Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal, has switched agencies to Octagon Football.
Octagon NFL agents Casey Muir & Murphy McGuire are repping him.
— Liz Mullen (@SBJLizMullen) June 22, 2020
While Carson has shown he’s a top back in the NFL, he’s also suffered season-ending injuries twice in three seasons and plays a position that, for the most part, hasn’t been getting paid as much as other players.
Former NFL quarterback Brock Huard was asked by 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny and Gallant whether Carson is playing his final year with the Seahawks and what impact his new agency may have going forward.
“I wouldn’t say that (he’s done in Seattle after 2020),” Huard said. “But that is, and Danny would know this as well as anybody, (changing agents) is a kind of precursor to making sure that his voice is heard and Chris Carson contractually is heard and with a new agent, and depending on who that agency is, usually you make that move as a player because you feel your past agent isn’t connected enough, does not have enough voice and is not getting anywhere with the team answering those calls.”
And while that may be the case from a player’s standpoint, Huard said that with how the Seahawks are currently situated, it’s unlikely the change in agency helps Carson get a new deal in the near future. Carson will make over $2 million this season after making under $1 million during each of his first three seasons according to SpotRac.
“I think unfortunately right now for Chris, he could have (legendary agent) Marvin Demoff in his prime and (Seahawks general manager) John Schneider is going to give that agent the same answer he’s going to give his former agent and that is ‘we’re just not doing anything right now. I’m sorry that Chris wants a deal, he’s been banged up all three years here and I hope he’s healthy this season. We need to see him play and we can revisit this in December,'” Huard said.
Currently, the Seahawks have around $14 million in cap space per OverTheCap. Schneider and the team often like to keep some money available for either a late free-agent pickup, a trade acquisition, or, what could happen with Carson, a late season extension, though Huard thinks that the latter is unlikely.
“I’m sure Chris is disappointed that there’s not more conversation, but I think that’s a very (clear message from Seahawks VP of football administration) Matt Thomas and John Schneider there in Seattle, a very clear message to Chris that ‘we’re not doing any talking right now and we won’t do that and revisit that probably until December or January,'” he said.
Danny O’Neil, who, prior to coming to 710 ESPN Seattle covered the Seahawks as a beat reporter for the Seattle Times, noted that the new Collective Bargaining Agreement that players agreed to this offseason really puts Carson in a bind as normally, he could hold out of practices to try and leverage a new deal.
“If Chris isn’t there for the start of training camp, under the new rules. he doesn’t get the accrued season,” O’Neil said. “He basically has to be there otherwise he’s not going to become a free agent.”
You can listen to the full discussion at this link or in the player below.