Seattle Seahawks re-sign RB Chris Carson on two-year contract

Seattle Seahawks
Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson (32) runs against the Arizona Cardinals during the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Oct. 25, 2020, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

SEATTLE, Wash. — Running back Chris Caron is returning to the Seattle Seahawks on a two-year contract worth up to $14.6 million after incentives, according to league sources.

Carson, a 26-year-old who was drafted 249th overall by the Seattle Seahawks in 2017, has been the marquee back for the club since 2018. Despite being set back by injury during the regular season— He only played in 12 games for the Seahawks last season — Carson is a reliable back whose physical running style fits excellently in head coach Pete Carroll’s run-heavy scheme.

During the 2020-21 NFL season, Carson averaged 4.8 yards per carry in one of the most competitive divisions in pro sports. He also expanded his ability as a pass-catcher, averaging a career-best 23.9 receiving yards per game. In fewer games than last season, Carson tied his total catches on the year (37) and tallied 287 receiving yards.

Beyond that, Carroll has learned to utilize Carson to the best of his ability. The Seahawks were creative with their passing game when it came to running backs, using quarterback Russell Wilson’s threat as a deep-ball passer to generate more space for Carson to run.

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Overall, Carson averaged 80.7 yards from scrimmage while dealing with injuries, an inconsistent offensive gameplan and an ineffective offensive line. Despite the circumstances, we saw glimpses of the best version of Chris Carson — An every-down back who treats every carry like it’ll be his last. That kind of hardnosed play is what gains the respect of a coach like Carroll.

According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, Carson has $5.5 million in guaranteed money on the first year of his contract. That can go as high as $6.9 million in 2021.

There’s a growing consensus amongst many NFL analysts that paying your running back is a poor use of cap space. It’s an easily replaceable position that comes with tremendous injury risk. Even so, smart teams have a hard time letting go of good players and this contract is favorable for the type of production that Carson is capable of. Not only is it a deserving contract, but it’s one that assures the Seattle Seahawks offense is gearing up for another chance at excellence.

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