It comes as no surprise to me since Rashaad Penny has not been able to stay healthy and available across his first three years in the league that the Seahawks have chosen not to pick up Penny’s fifth-year option, per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport. I think Penny is a weapon when healthy, but sometimes the best ability is availability, and Rashaad Penny’s availability has been subpar.
What does this mean for the future of the running back position for the Seahawks?
Running back remains a position of no need for the 2021 season, as Penny will remain on the squad for this year. However, when he becomes a free agent after the 2021 season, the Seahawks may have a decision or two to make.
Seahawks won’t pick up the 5th year option on Rashaad Penny’s rookie contract
I’m all for bringing Penny back on a cheap deal if he’s able to prove in 2021 that he can stay healthy and be a solid backup to Carson. But I’m afraid that’s all he can be, a backup running back. This team has committed to Chris Carson as the guy in the backfield for at least the next two seasons. Post-2021 may be the time for the Seahawks to cut their losses on Penny, who was originally drafted as the 27th overall pick in 2018.
There will be several veterans who the Seahawks will be able to pay close to the minimum for that can be solid backups to Carson. If he demands starter money, this team should move on from Penny and not pay him. There are priorities ahead of him, like a Jamal Adams extension and, after the 2022 season, resigning DK Metcalf.
This team needs to keep as much money free for the future as possible as it tries to create a formidable defense while hanging on to its offensive weapons. Even though the salary cap will continue to go up, these dynamic players will want big paydays.
I think not exercising the 5th-year option of Penny is a good way for this team to save money, and unless he has a huge breakout year in 2021, the Seahawks should not bring Rashaad Penny back next season.