From first-round bust to must re-sign in just five games? Yep, this is Rashaad Penny. He was so good in a short amount of time that he ended up leading all running backs in yards-per-carry at 6.3 and had eight runs of 25-plus yards which tied the Colts Jonathan Taylor for the season-high. Taylor, though, carried the ball 332 times this year while Penny rushed just 119 times.
Think of it this way: 7 percent of the time Penny ran the ball he ran for 25 yards or more. That is an insanely high percentage.
But the question that has always been and will always be about Penny is whether he can stay healthy. Because of his injury history, teams aren’t going to jump at the chance to overpay Penny this offseason. But because the running back position has changed so much over the years, NFL teams don’t normally overpay for running backs now anyway.
While Penny’s production over the last five games was immense, every team is going to ask, “Can he do it over a full season?” Penny gained 671 yards over the last five games which is a pace for 2,281 for a 17-game schedule. That is unlikely to happen but getting 1,500 yards is definitely a possibility if Penny can stay healthy.
The Seahawks need to offer Penny an incentive-laden contract that will pay him close to $6 million a year over three seasons. But most of that needs to be performance-based pay. This would be a win-win for player and team because if Penny stays healthy and has anywhere near his late-2021 production that is going to help win football games while the player is going to make good money as well.