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The Rashaad Penny contract

NFL: Combine Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

When the Seattle Seahawks came on the clock on Thursday in round one of the NFL Draft, Pete Carroll and John Schneider surprised no one by trading back from spot 1.18 to 1.27 and adding a third round selection in the process. However, when the clock started ticking on the team the second time, they surprised a ton of fans by taking running back Rashaad Penny out of San Diego State.

Penny is now the sixth player from San Diego State that the Seahawks have drafted, including the second in the first round. The five Aztecs the Hawks have previously drafted have been

  • Offensive Lineman Terry Poole (4.130, 2015),
  • Defensive Back Eric Pinkins (6.208, 2014),
  • Linebacker Tyler Schmitt (6.189, 2008),
  • Quarterback Dan McGwire (1.16, 1991) and
  • Tackle Dave Des Rochers, (12.326, 1988).

Penny won’t have to do much to become the most successful Aztec drafted by the Hawks, as those other five combined to appear in a whopping 18 games for Seattle. However, he will certainly need to do more than they did in order to justify his rookie contract. As a late selection in the first round, his contract will be far more palatable than the rookie contract that Saquon Barkley will receive, the size of which former agent Joel Corry pointed out Thursday evening on Twitter.

The contract Penny will sign will include a $5,935,688 signing bonus which will be prorated over the life of the contract and will most likely include a fully guaranteed base salary in each of the 2018, 2019 and 2020 seasons. Further, roughly 30% of the base salary for the 2021 season will be fully guaranteed.

So, if Penny proves to be a playmaker on offense or on special teams, then it’s a contract that could prove valuable over the next four years. As a running back taken outside the top ten of the first round, the fifth year option should also be reasonably affordable if he makes his worth shown.

Obviously there’s a lot left to learn between now and the start of the season in September, and we’ll learn then how much value he brings to the team on the field.