It’s been abundantly clear since last season that running back Thomas Rawls was not going to be a part of the Seattle Seahawks’ 2018 roster, but now we know where the next chapter of his career will be.
On Friday, the New York Jets made it official that they’ve signed Rawls, although contract details were not disclosed. The Jets had signed ex-Browns RB Isaiah Crowell earlier in free agency. Competition for the top spot figures to be a battle among Crowell, Rawls, Bilal Powell, and Elijah McGuire.
Rawls was an undrafted rookie sensation for the Seahawks back in 2015, and I firmly believe he would’ve won Offensive Rookie of the Year honors over Todd Gurley had he not broken his ankle in December. He continued to battle injuries into 2016, had inconsistent performances, but stormed his way to a Seahawks playoff record 161 yards in Seattle’s 26-6 wild card win over the Detroit LIons.
The less said about Rawls’ 2017, the better. In fairness, Seattle’s rushing attack was terrible with several running backs, but Rawls in particular fell out of favor, including several healthy scratches on gameday. He did not score a single touchdown, averaged just 2.7 yards per carry (down from the already low 3.2 from 2016), and was of virtually no value in the passing game. Seattle did not tender him earlier this offseason, making him an unrestricted free agent.
It’s a shame things fell apart after such an electrifying and promising start, but maybe Rawls can right his ship with a fresh start across the country.