Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson changed agents as he enters the final year of his contract. Carson signed with Octagon moving on from Dream Point Sports, per The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta.
Carson is coming off a significant hip injury and entering the biggest season of his career. According to Spotrac, the Seahawks running back is set to make $2.1 million in the final season of his four-year, $2.46 million deal. Carson is no doubt eyeing a new long-term contract when he hits free agency in 2021. All indications are Carson will be ready to resume play for the Seahawks when Week 1 rolls around.
The free-agent landscape for running backs continues to rapidly change as the majority of players at the position found a less-than-enthusiastic market in 2020. Running backs like Todd Gurley and Melvin Gordon signed deals that were not as lucrative as expected. After being released by the Falcons, Devonta Freeman has yet to find a home.
Chris Carson Faces Competition in the Backfield With Carlos Hyde & Rashaad Penny
Carson will face increased competition in the backfield after the Seahawks signed Carlos Hyde this offseason. Rashaad Penny is also likely to have a role but is expected to begin the season on the PUP list meaning he would miss at least the first six weeks of the season as the back recovers from an injury. Hyde emphasized that he is coming to Seattle to compete but admitted he expects Carson to be the team’s lead back.
“It’s probably an open competition for that second role,” Hyde explained, per The Seattle Times. “Me personally, I don’t think there’s probably an open competition for the starting role. I think everybody knows who the starting running back is for Seattle, and that’s Carson. I knew that before I even signed here.”
During a recent press conference, Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll once again emphasized the idea of competition and did not specify how Hyde will be used. Carroll noted that Hyde’s presence allows the team to take a more cautious approach with Penny’s return.
“He gives us a chance to really bring Rashad back and carefully bring him back so that he’s a thousand percent right and ready to go when we cut him loose,” Carroll explained to The Seattle Times. “We’re really excited about. We love what he brings, but this will allow us to, I think, be clear about the process of re-entering Penny back into it.”
Carson Is Coming Off the Best NFL Season of His Career
It has become an annual occurrence in the offseason for there to be chatter about Carson’s job security. While Carson’s season ended early with an injury, the running back still had his best NFL season posting career-high numbers in multiple statistical categories. Carson notched 278 carries for 1,230 yards and seven touchdowns in 15 games last season. The running back also added a career-best 37 receptions for 266 yards and two receiving touchdowns.
When the Seahawks used their 2018 first-round pick on Penny, the former San Diego State rusher was expected to be the team’s lead back. Carson has been able to win the job multiple times, and it has not been particularly close. During his recent Flying Coach podcast, Carroll admitted he fell in love with Carson as a prospect and encouraged Seahawks general manager John Schneider to select him before Seattle used a seventh-round pick on the running back in the 2017 NFL Draft.
Assuming there are no complications with Carson’s hip, it hard to imagine a team valuing him more than the Seahawks given their dedication to running the football. It will be worth watching whether the Seahawks begin discussions with Carson’s new agency about an extension, or if both parties let things play out until the next offseason.