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Finding Free Agents: Low-cost running backs available to the Seahawks

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NFL: Seattle Seahawks at San Francisco 49ers Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

John Schneider has already stated the Seahawks will add a player at running back this spring, and it makes sense. Chris Carson has struggled with injuries and is entering the final year of his rookie deal Rashaad Penny could start the season on the PUP list after a December knee injury. Marshawn Lynch is anyone’s best guess. The much-maligned C.J. Prosise is about to be a free agent. Travis Homer looks to be the passing down back for the foreseeable future, but Seattle could add an early-down back in their style to the group. If the Seahawks can address the position during the first- or second-wave of free agency, it would enable them to focus their draft capital elsewhere.

Alex Collins

The former polarizing Seattle tailback has had a bizarre three years since his release. In 2017, Collins nearly hit 1,000 yards for the Ravens and followed it up with eight touchdowns in 10 games the following season. Legal issues caused Collins to be suspended for three games last season, but he was without a team anyway. Collins should find his way back onto an NFL roster this spring.

ESPN’s Brady Henderson reported last Friday that the Seahawks remain interested in their former fifth-round pick:

Isaiah Crowell

After missing all of 2019 with a torn Achilles, Crowell will hit the open market. Still just 27 years old, Crowell has been a reliable, if not flashy tailback over five seasons. His career-low in yardage is 607, and he has dropped below four yards per carry just once. Crowell, like all of these tailbacks, would be unlikely to remain on the roster if the entire depth chart was healthy—but if that were the case, Seattle wouldn’t be looking to add a running back.

Rod Smith

Another tailback who spent time with the Seahawks, Smith was a victim of the great Thomas Rawls renaissance of 2015 and didn’t stick with the team despite a strong preseason. The 28-year-old found some joy in Dallas with his brother, Cowboys linebacker Jaylon Smith, after moving on, including four scores in 2017. Smith bounced between the Titans and Raiders last season, and could come in and compete for a job in camp.

Jonathan Williams

Collins’ teammate at Arkansas, Williams was favored over Collins by some draftniks ahead of the 2016 NFL Draft, despite a lesser college career. It didn’t work for Williams with the Bills or Saints, but in the first extended chance of his career this past season with the Colts he impressed, with back-to-back 100-yard games. Like Collins, Williams has the body type and running style of a Seattle back.

Mike Davis

The only RB of this group who would be likely to stick on the Seahawks’ roster even when the top trio are healthy, Davis isn’t currently set to be a free agent. The Panthers, however, can save $3 million by cutting Davis and that may very well happen with a full blown rebuild about to begin in Carolina. If it does, Seattle would surely be eager for a reunion. Davis proved in 2018 to be a dependable solution in the Seahawks’ offense, both on early downs and in passing situations.