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There’s one free agent running back the Seahawks could sign, but would you?

Los Angeles Rams v Seattle Seahawks Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

A few weeks ago, Mookie wrote an article that talked about the “uncertainty” surrounding the Seahawks running backs.

The gist of the story, from my perspective, was that Chris Carson has struggled with injuries so we shouldn’t expect a 17-game season from him, and the depth behind him is ... questionable.

I am not interested in recapping that article any more than I have, but I do have a few thoughts to share about the running back group before asking y’all a question.


Thought #1.

Rashaad Penny failed to finish the 2019 season due to a knee injury. He then spent most of last season rehabbing said knee injury and only appeared in 3 games. Then, after the season ended, Penny had a clean-up procedure done on the same knee. We, of course, didn’t find out about this until Pete Carroll disclosed it during the team’s mandatory minicamp in June.

Ignoring everything else about Penny - and I am referring to a lot of things with that statement ... I, as a 12, am uncomfortable with the idea of “counting on” Rashaad Penny this season.


Thought #2.

This is going to seem like more than one thought, but it all revolves around the same core thought: Seattle letting Carlos Hyde leave in free agency.

Last year, heading into camp, our top 3 running backs were Chris Carson, Carlos Hyde, and Rashaad Penny (at some point) with some young pups behind them. This year it’s Carson, Penny (at some point), and Alex Collins ... with some young pups behind them.

I like Alex Collins, but ... he’s not Carlos Hyde.

And I’m saying that as someone who would never describe himself as anything close to “a fan of Carlos Hyde.”

Continuing “the Hyde thought,” consider this:

Last season, the since-departed Carlos Hyde accounted for 25.9% of the yards and 30.8% of the rushing touchdowns recorded by the running back group.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Seattle’s backs accounted for 1,375 of Seattle’s 1,971 rushing yards. Chris Carson led the way with 681, followed by Carlos Hyde (356), DeeJay Dallas (108), Travis Homer (88), Alex Collins (77), Rashaad Penny (34), and Bo Scarbrough (31).

  • Last year, the Seahawks had 15 rushing touchdowns. Russell Wilson had 2 of the 15, and running backs had the rest. Carson had 5 of them; Hyde had 4; Dallas, Collins, and Homer had 2 apiece.

And to complete “the Hyde thought”:

With the exception of UDFA Josh Johnson, every back on the team right now was with the Seahawks in 2020 which means, in a roundabout way, all the team has really done is swap Carlos Hyde for Josh Johnson.

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Bottom line: As much as it pains me to say this, I am concerned that letting Carlos Hyde go might have been a mistake.


Thought #3.

There are still some “decent” options available via free agency, including Todd Gurley II and Le’Veon Bell. I’m sort of ambivalent about these two, but they’re widely considered 2 of the best remaining options.

Here are some numbers for them, courtesy of PFR, followed by some additional information:

Todd Gurley II

  • 2020: Played 45% of the Falcons’ offensive snaps (507); had 678 yards on 195 carries with 9 touchdowns; added 25 receptions (on 35 targets) for 164 yards
  • 2019: Played 71% of the Rams’ offensive snaps (787); had 857 yards on 223 carries with 12 touchdowns; added 31 receptions (on 49 targets) for 207 yards and 2 TDs

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Le’Veon Bell

  • 2020-A: Played 2 games (78 snaps) with the Jets; had 74 yards on 19 carries; added 3 receptions (on 3 targets) for 39 yards
  • 2020-B: Played 9 regular season games (192 snaps) with the Chiefs; had 254 yards on 63 carries with 2 touchdowns; added 13 receptions (on 17 targets) for 99 yards
  • 2020-C: Played 11 snaps in the divisional round of the AFC playoffs; had 2 carries for 6 yards; no receptions on 3 targets - did not play in the AFCCG or the Super Bowl
  • 2019: Played 77% of the Jets’ offensive snaps (782); had 789 yards on 245 carries with 3 touchdowns; added 66 receptions (on 78 targets) for 461 yards with 1 TD

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Both players clearly have some things working against them and come with question marks despite having fairly impressive overall resumes.

  • Gurley is 27 and has almost 1,500 carries on his body (1,460 over a 6-year career). He spent 5 of his 6 seasons with the Rams, including 3 years in Sean McVay’s offensive system. Gurley earned $5.5M last season with Atlanta. Health is often cited as a concern with him.

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As mentioned, I’m ambivalent about these two players, but I do think that signing either (or both) of them would improve our running back group.


Thought #4.

I have mentioned a few times that the Detroit Lions are my 2nd-favorite team.

Last year, Detroit signed a veteran running back to a 1-year, $1.05M contract - aka the veteran minimum - less than a week before their first game.

This veteran back appeared in all 16 games, started 10 of them, and finished the year as the Lions’ leading rusher.

For the season, he took 30% of the offensive snaps, recorded 604 yards on 156 carries with 7 touchdowns, and added 12 receptions (on 18 targets) for 101 yards.

When the season ended, I, and many others, assumed that he would call it a career and run off into the sunset with the 5th-most rushing yards and the 4th-most rushing touchdowns in league history.

I am, of course, talking about Adrian Peterson.

St. Louis Rams vs Minnesota Vikings Set Number: X155944 TK1 R1 F167

I hadn’t actually thought about Adrian Peterson more than a handful of times since the 2020 season ended, and never once had I thought about the idea of him signing with Seattle.

Then, on Friday, I got a news alert about the 36-year-old running back (who shares a birthday with me, which is part of why I get news alerts about him). The alert said that Peterson is “still chasing (a) Super Bowl ring”.

Curious-slash-intrigued, I clicked on the link for the article, quickly read it (it’s short), then sat back and thought ...

Adrian Peterson in a Seahawks uniform?

Hmm .....

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Here is the most relevant part of the article (for those that don’t like clicking on links):

“The training is going well and I’m going to control the things that I can control right now, and, when that time comes, somebody will give me a call,” Peterson said Thursday night in River Oaks while attending a red carpet event for San Francisco 49ers offensive tackle Trent Williams’ upcoming documentary. “That’s all I’m asking for. My body feels good. I came out healthy from last season. My body feels strong. I still feel young. I still feel good. I’m ready to play ball.”


QUESTION:

How would you, my fellow 12s, feel about the Seahawks signing an NFL legend to compete for a spot on this year’s team?