Grading the Seahawks signing of running back Carlos Hyde

The Seahawks signed running back Carlos Hyde on Friday. Seattle needed running back depth but will Hyde be a good fit in Seattle?

Carlos Hyde ran for over 1,000 yards in 2019 with the Houston Texans. In fact, Hyde ran for a career-high 1,070 yards, which was good for 12th in the league. With the announcement that the Seahawks signed Carlos Hyde on Friday, Seattle will now have two of the top 12 rushers from 2019 on their roster in 2020. Was this a good signing, though?

Carlos Hyde certainly fits the mold of a Pete Carroll running back. He is big – Hyde weighs at least 230 pounds – and loves to run inside the tackles to get yards. Hyde is not speedy but can grind out yards. Just like Carroll likes his backs to do.

Chris Carson should once again be the Seahawks lead back. Carson was fifth in rushing in the NFL in 2019 with 1,230 yards. But Seattle needs at least two backs to be productive and carry the ball more than 10 times a game. Seattle likes to run and with Carson and Hyde they should be able to do that. Hyde’s style matches Carson’s so Seattle would not have to change any blocking schemes from one back to the other.

In 2019, Carson had worse blocking than Hyde did in Houston, though. Carson and Hyde both average 4.4 yards a carry. But Carson was 5th in the league in gaining yards after contact at 2.5. Hyde was 21st at 2.2. One might wonder if Hyde can be just as effective behind Seattle’s line of 2020 as he was behind the Texans’ line in 2019.

Seattle’s presumed backup to Carson in 2020 was Rashaad Penny. But Penny hurt his knee so late in 2019 that it will affect the start of his 2020 season and he is likely to start on the PUP list. This made the signing of another running back critical for the Seahawks. This is why Carlos Hyde is now in Seattle.

What are some concerns about the Seahawks signing Carlos Hyde?

Hyde does not come without some degree of uncertainty. Sure, he had his best rushing year in 2019 but he will also turn 30 years old during the 2020 season. Hyde also played through a torn labrum last year and that required offseason surgery in February. Will Hyde be healthy to start 2020?

Hyde also has an injury history, none of it related to his weight because he has consistently played at 230 pounds or a bit more. Still, Hyde has only twice played a full 16 games in a season during his career. Seattle ran out of running backs because of injury at the end of 2019 and cannot afford to do the same in 2020 if they want to make a deeper push in the playoffs.

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Carlos Hyde was only signed to an incentive-laden one year deal with the Seahawks, however. So the risk is low for Seattle. If Hyde performs well and stays healthy and makes his $4 million dollars, great. But he will have to earn his money and if he does that means Seattle is better because Hyde is on the team. Let us hope that is the case.

Grade: B+




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