The Seattle Seahawks showed at the end of the 2021 season that they are very capable of running the ball well. This needs to carry over into the 2022 season as well. And to be good, Seattle needs to bring back one important player along with a veteran.
Seattle has an unfortunate recent history of running backs that get injured and miss chunks of seasons. Chris Carson was the presumed starter to start 2021 and he should have been. Carson is a big back but an athletic one. He was ill-used in 2020 and was in 2021 through the first four games. But then he got hurt.
Rashaad Penny, of course, was the best back in the NFL in the last third of the season. Seriously. And it wasn’t close. But Penny has been injured for most of his four years in the league and is now a free agent.
Who the 2022 Seattle Seahawks running backs should be
So what should the Seahawks running back room in 2022 look like? Here is a guess.
RB1: Rashaad Penny
Penny was simply too good late in the season to not bring back. In fact, Penny was so good that it made it easy to want to forget that he had been injured so often. 671 yards and 6 touchdowns in the final five games of the season is impressive no matter who is running the ball.
Penny broke tackles, outran safeties for long runs, moved the scrum when initially stuffed at the line of scrimmage. Seattle shouldn’t overpay for him but running backs make less now than they used to. Seattle needs to find out what other teams are offering and add a dollar. Penny could have a 1,500-yard rushing season next year if healthy.
RB2: Chris Carson
Carson is already under contract next year but will be coming off a neck injury that required surgery. Whether he will ever play again is still in question. But assuming Carson can play and should, for his long-term health, then he needs to nearly split carries with Penny.
RB3: DeeJay Dallas
Dallas is never going to be a true number-one running back in the NFL but he did do something in 2021 I didn’t think he was capable of. That is, when he got hit at the line and needed to grind out 2 or 3 yards he was able to move the pile a bit. Dallas has gotten stronger since coming to the NFL and is still very fast. He needs more carries in 2022 and is under contract through 2023.
RB4: Adrian Peterson
Peterson is old for a running back and isn’t going to make it through a whole season if he has to carry the ball a lot. But he needs to be re-signed to a low-risk deal for two reasons. He can still produce at a low level and doesn’t turn the ball over. More importantly, he is able to be an adjunct coach on the sidelines and has already shown his value in doing so with Rashaad Penny.
RB5: Travis Homer
Homer isn’t a great running back but he is a great special teams player and should be signed beyond 2022 (when his current contract ends) for three more years just because of his value in the third phase of the game. Homer is Pro Bowl-worthy on special teams as he calls out the alignments on punts and can take a fake to the house as we saw this year.