The Seattle Seahawks have agreed to terms with running back Rashaad Penny on a one-year deal to return to the team, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday, per sources.
Penny, 26, will make $5.75 million on the contract with a chance to earn up to $6.5 million, Rapoport added.
The top tailback remaining on NFL.com’s top 101 free agent rankings, Penny turned down more money elsewhere to come back to the organization that selected him late in the first round of the 2018 draft, per Rapoport.
Penny was worth cents on the dollar heading into the back half of the 2021 season. Rarely on the field during his first three seasons, either due to injury or depth at the position, Penny had just 981 total yards on 178 touches from 2018 through 2020.
Then in 2021, as quarterback Russell Wilson and starting back Chris Carson dealt with injuries, Penny stepped up. In the final five weeks of the campaign, the burly back rushed for over 100 yards four times, rattling off 671 yards and six touchdowns on 92 carries down the stretch; Penny had two 100-yard rushing games in his career prior his late-season tear.
By season’s end, Penny had finished with career highs in carries (119), rushing yards (749) and touchdowns (6), and his 6.3 yards per rush was the best in the league.
The timing could not have been better for the San Diego State product. Penny was set to enter free agency with barely anything to hang his helmet on. But Penny saw his market grow thanks to his five-game close to the campaign, which showcased the potential Seattle saw in him coming out of the draft.
With Wilson out the door and question marks under center, Penny must be a steady presence in the Seattle backfield for the Seahawks to be successful in 2022, along with Carson, who is entering a contract year himself.