Panthers Plan To Sign RB Rashaad Penny

Another addition to Carolina’s backfield appears to be on the way. The Panthers plan to sign Rashaad Penny, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports.

Fowler adds the move will likely be made after the team’s rookie minicamp is completed. Provided it does, Penny will join a running back depth chart which already features second-round rookie Jonathon Brooks along with veterans Chuba Hubbard and Miles Sanders. Despite his underwhelming performance last season, the latter is not on the trade block.

Carolina ranked 20th in the NFL in rushing yards last season, averaging 104 yards per game on the ground. That marked much better efficiency than the team’s passing attack, but it still left plenty of room for improvement. After making a pair of lucrative free agent investments along the interior offensive line (guards Robert Hunt and Damien Lewis), the Panthers made Brooks the first running back to hear his name called at the draft. Hubbard has one year remaining on his rookie contract while Sanders is on the books for three more years.

Penny will aim to carve out a roster spot while competing with those three (along with Tarik Cohen, Mike Boone and Raheem Blackshear) for playing time. The former first-rounder has dealt with considerable injury troubles during his career, with his best season coming in 2021 (749 yards, six touchdowns). Penny led the league with a 6.3 yards per carry average that year, but he has been limited to just eight games since then.

The 28-year-old played on a one-year deal with the Eagles last season, serving in a limited capacity. Penny received just 12 touches, and he will be aiming to secure a larger workload in Carolina. This move will represent a reunion between Penny and new Panthers head coach Dave Canales. The latter was a member of the Seahawks’ staff during all five of the former’s campaigns in Seattle.

The Panthers entered Monday with roughly $8MM in cap space, so a deal for Penny (which will no doubt be a short-term, low-cost endeavor) should be manageable. It will be interesting to see how Carolina’s backfield pecking order shakes out provided a deal is finalized in the near future.

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