Rashaad Penny has been a complete bust of a Seattle Seahawks first round pick. But in Week 14, he could still make Seattle thinking of re-signing him.
Penny hasn’t been mostly bad for Seattle; He has been mostly unavailable. Yes, he has run for an average yards per carry of just 2.94 combined the past two years. But he has also run the ball just 38 times. He has missed 20 games out of a possible 28. Penny has also caught just one pass (which was last week against the San Francisco 49ers).
While Penny has been ineffective the last seasons most of the reason is that he hasn’t been able to play enough to get into any kind of rhythm after trying to come back from multiple injuries.
The Seahawks chose Penny in the first round of 2018 and this past offseason declined to pick up his fifth-year option for 2022. Why would the Seahawks? Penny hasn’t shown the greatest of abilities: Being available to play. So not throwing money at a player who doesn’t seem like he can consistently be on the field is the right move.
Seattle Seahawks might re-think Rashaad Penny for 2022 if Week14 goes well
But when Rashaad Penny does play quite a bit during a game, he can be maddeningly effective. I say maddeningly because the frustrating thing about Penny is his raw ability is excellent. He showed on the pass he caught last week (a screen caught at the line of scrimmage) that he has both great speed and strength, especially for a running back who weighs 220 pounds.
Penny also pass-blocked extremely well in Week13 and I am not sure anyone expected that. While a running back clearly needs to run for yards and catch a few passes a game and help pick up first downs, if that same back can’t pick up blitzes and help keep his quarterback clean then that back shouldn’t play a lot. But Penny is obviously capable of blocking effectively.
Week 14 is a huge opportunity for Rashaad Penny. He is going to be Seattle’s lead back and might get 15 carries. The Seahawks opponent, the Houston Texans, are terrible at stopping the run, ranking last in the NFL in allowing 144.2 yards per game. Houston is 27th in allowing 4.6 yards a rush.
Seattle will probably need to find not one but two running backs to lead the unit next year. Chris Carson is under contract for next season but he has a neck injury and there is some doubt he will ever play again. Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas are not every-down backs. Seattle might bring Penny back at a bargain-basement salary.
But wherever Rashaad Penny plays next year, how he plays in Week 14 against a bad Texans defense could go a long way towards determining how much he will make. If Penny has a massive game on Sunday and then stays healthy the rest of the year, Seattle might decide to take another chance on Penny because Penny has the talent to be good on the field. He just needs to find the ability to stay on it for long stretches at a time.