Chris Carson

Seahawks Place Chris Carson On IR

6:07pm: The Seahawks are following through with the Carson shutdown plan. They officially placed Wilson and Carson on IR later Friday afternoon. Neither player can return before Week 10.

4:23pm: In addition to their preparations to place Russell Wilson on injured reserve, the Seahawks are considering shutting down their other backfield starter.

They have ruled Chris Carson out for a second straight week due to a neck injury, and Pete Carroll said an IR stay is in play for the fifth-year running back, via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta (on Twitter). Sunday night will be Carson’s second consecutive absence. An IR move would sideline him until Week 10, when the Seahawks return from their bye week.

Carson has been Seattle’s starting back since 2018. Although the team drafted Rashaad Penny with an eye on him one day taking over, the 2018 first-round pick has battled far more substantial injury trouble over the course of his career. Carson has run into extensive injury trouble as well, though he has been able to stay on the field en route to securing a two-year, $10.4MM deal this offseason.

The former seventh-round pick missed most of his rookie year with a broken leg, missed the end of the 2019 season with an arm injury and was down for four games in 2020 with a foot issue. Carson did not practice this week.

Carroll did say Penny should be expected to return from IR next week. A calf injury sustained in Week 1 led Penny back to IR. The contract-year back has played in just four games since an ACL tear ended his 2019 season. Alex Collins is set to lead the Seahawks’ running back troops against the Steelers. This is Collins’ second Seattle stint. The team brought him back in November 2020, and injuries to Carson and Penny have moved the former fifth-round Seahawks draftee into a key role.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Rule Out Chris Carson Vs. Rams

The Seahawks have made Chris Carson a late scratch for Thursday night’s game against the Rams. Seattle’s longtime starter is battling a neck injury that kept him out of practice this week.

Carson split time with veteran backup Alex Collins against the 49ers. Collins, on his second stint with the Seahawks, would stand to be the team’s top ball-carrying option tonight. Rashaad Penny is on IR.

A two-time 1,100-yard rusher, Carson has defied the odds and become a steady starter out of the seventh round. The Seahawks re-signed him this offseason, giving the Oklahoma State product a two-year, $10.4MM deal. With Penny having not panned out as Carson’s successor, the Seahawks moved forward with their late-round success story. But he has run into injury trouble as a pro.

A broken leg ended Carson’s 2017 rookie season, and after he recovered to establish himself as Seattle’s full-time starter, he missed the end of the 2019 season with an arm malady and four games last season due to a foot injury. The Seahawks also have 2020 fourth-round pick DeeJay Dallas and 2019 sixth-rounder Travis Homer on their active roster along with Collins.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: NFLPA, Lawrence, Seahawks

Over half of the league’s teams have now issued statements saying some or all of their players will sit out in-person offseason workouts. While those standoffs continue, we’ve got an adjacent update on the NFL’s COVID-19 policies. The NFLPA told players over the weekend that they’d no longer be subject to discipline for “high-risk COVID conduct,” a source told Tom Pelissero of NFL Network (Twitter link).

That includes things like going to bars and large indoor events. There some high profile discipline incidents for high-risk COVID conduct last season, perhaps most notably when Dwayne Haskins was fined and stripped of his captaincy after being photographed mask-less with strippers. As Pelissero points out, this means that the players who do decide to report to team facilities for in-person workouts won’t have to live in quarantine. Pelissero reports the NFL will still maintain the right to hand down discipline for violating protocols inside team facilities.

Here are a couple other notes from around the league on a quiet Sunday night:

  • Not that it’s any secret the Jaguars are taking Trevor Lawrence, but we’ve got some more info on what’s going down behind the scenes. Urban Meyer pretty much publicly acknowledged a couple weeks ago that the team would draft the Clemson passer first overall later this month, and it sounds like the budding relationship is going well. Jacksonville has been sharing elements of their offensive scheme and playbook with Lawrence to see what he can retain, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (Twitter video link). These zoom sessions have apparently been going well, as Lawrence has “impressed them” by “being able to talk like he’s already a member” of the team, Rapoport says.
  • There was a lot of drama surrounding Russell Wilson this offseason, which led to trade rumors, but it sounds like he’s been very engaged in the Seahawks’ offseason plans. Running back Chris Carson signed a two-year deal to stay in Seattle despite interest from a number of other teams, and he recently revealed that Wilson played a big role in recruiting him. “He was definitely in my ear,” Carson said, via John Boyle of the team’s official site. “We talked about it before the season ended that we didn’t want this to be the last year we played with each other. He definitely was in my ear during the offseason.” He also said fellow running back Rashaad Penny played a big role in recruiting him back. Wilson’s efforts here, as well as his recent reassurances to Carlos Dunlap, seem to indicate he isn’t planning on leaving the Seahawks anytime soon.

Jets, Patriots, Panthers Showed Interest In RB Chris Carson

Before he re-signed with the Seahawks, running back Chris Carson had interest from a number of teams. Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times writes that the Jets, Patriots, and Panthers were among the teams that reached out to the veteran. We previously heard that the Dolphins tried to sign the running back.

After spending the first four seasons of his career with Seattle, Carson ultimately decided to stick around with the organization. However, the veteran admitted that he had some enticing offers from those rival suitors.

“[The decision] was definitely difficult,” Carson told Condotta. “Teams made offers. Some teams made it tough to decide to sign with the Seahawks.”

Besides his familiarity with the team, Carson was also swayed by the money and the security. His two-year deal includes $5.5MM in guaranteed money and could be worth up to $10.4MM.

Despite having a pair of 1,000-plus-yard seasons on his resume, he’s expected to compete with former first-rounder Rashaad Penny for snaps next season. However, Carson isn’t concerned about the unclear roles; rather, he believes himself and Penny could emerge as one of the top two-headed monsters in the league.

“I think we can be one of the top rushing duos in the league,’’ Carson said. “We both bring a different feel to the game, like different attributes. But we complement each other so well. I feel like his limit is ridiculous once he starts getting his feet wet in the game. I think it’s going to be something special.’’

While the Panthers were probably looking for Carson to relieve Christian McCaffrey, the Patriots and Jets could have offered the veteran a larger role. The Patriots depth chart is led by Sony Michel and Damien Harris, a pair of intriguing young players who have yet to secure the definitive starting spot. The Jets depth chart is a mix of unproven young players and Tevin Coleman, although they’ll probably add to the position via the draft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Trubisky, Andrews, Carson, Jones, Reiff, Joyner

Let’s catch up on the latest contract details from around the league:

  • QB Mitchell TrubiskyBills: One-year, $2MM base salary with $1.5MM guaranteed, $500K signing bonus, and $2MM available in incentives. Via Field Yates of ESPN on Twitter.
  • C David Andrews, Patriots: Four-years, $19 MM, with $6.5MM fully guaranteed. More money available in play-time incentives. Via Tom Pelissero of NFL Network on Twitter.
  • RB Chris CarsonSeahawks: Two-years, $10.425MM, $4.5MM signing bonus and $1MM guaranteed salary for 2021. $4.5MM non-guaranteed 2022 salary and $450K in per-game roster bonuses in ‘22. Up to $1.4MM in incentives in both years. Via Dan Graziano of ESPN on Twitter.
  • RB Aaron JonesPackers: Four-years, $48MM. The $13MM signing bonus is the only fully guaranteed money in the contract. A $3.5MM roster bonus is due on the first day of next league year. For 2023, a $7MM roster bonus is due on the third day of the league year. You can read the full breakdown of each year of the contract via Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com.
  • OL Riley ReiffBengals: One-year, $7.5MM. $5.5MM guaranteed. We hadn’t known the terms of this contract yet, and $7.5MM is a pretty decent price for the Bengals for a solid starting tackle. Via Yates on Twitter.
  • S Lamarcus JoynerJets: One-year, up to $4.5MM. $2.5MM is guaranteed, with a $1MM signing bonus and $1.5MM base salary. Up to $500K in per game active roster bonuses and $1.5MM in playing time and interception incentives. Via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle on Twitter.

Seahawks To Re-Sign RB Chris Carson

Chris Carson will stay in Seattle. The former seventh-round pick who beat the odds to become a long-term Seahawks starter agreed to terms on a second contract with the team Friday night.

The four-year veteran running back will sign a two-year deal worth $14.63MM, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Carson has worked as Seattle’s top running back for the past three seasons, and he will be expected to reprise that role in 2021. The Seahawks will use the increasingly popular void-year method to help with their cap, Field Yates of ESPN.com tweets, noting one void year will be added to the deal. The Seahawks entered Friday up against the cap.

Carson is believed to have received interest from the Dolphins, and the Seahawks extended an offer to Leonard Fournette. Nevertheless, the status quo in Seattle’s backfield will remain. The Seahawks lost Carlos Hyde to the Jaguars but still have Rashaad Penny attached to his rookie contract. This Carson development could point Fournette back to the Buccaneers, though it remains to be seen if there are any other known suitors for the former top-five pick.

Although the Seahawks’ initial investment in Carson doubled as a final-round flier, Carson will cash in after an injury-marred season. Prior to being limited in 2020, however, Carson eclipsed 1,100 yards in each of the previous two seasons. He totaled 16 rushing TDs from 2018-19, helping the Seahawks back to the playoffs and resurrect a ground game that had dipped in quality in between the Marshawn Lynch and Carson years.

Carson, Phillip Lindsay, Marlon Mack and Kenyan Drake are now off the market, with Aaron Jones — the top UFA running back coming into the week — choosing to avoid free agency and re-sign with the Packers. Of this group, Jones is the only player to have signed for more than two seasons or to have cleared $8MM per year. Carson, however, will receive a considerable raise from his rookie contract. Russell Wilson also endorsed the move (Twitter link).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins, Chris Carson Close To Deal?

Shortly after adding Will Fuller to their receiving corps, the Dolphins are believed to be in discussions to make a big splash in their backfield.

They are discussing a deal with Chris Carson, with the Pro Football Network indicating those talks are on the cusp of producing a contract agreement (Twitter link). Carson has played all four seasons of his career with the Seahawks, and despite being a seventh-round pick, he held Seattle’s starting job for most of his rookie contract.

The Dolphins have their own seventh-round success story, in Myles Gaskin, and made a move to add ex-Rams contributor Malcolm Brown this week. It would then be interesting to see the team add two veterans to its backfield. It is unclear if the Seahawks are engaged in substantial discussions with Carson. They are believed to have an offer out to Leonard Fournette, however.

Carson has two 1,100-yard rushing seasons on his resume, amassing those totals in 2018 and ’19, but is coming off an injury-limited 2020. That stands to affect his market. But the three-year Seattle starter did average 4.8 yards per carry last season. The Seahawks have already lost Carlos Hyde and have Rashaad Penny coming off a season in which he barely played due to a 2019 knee injury.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Franchise Tag Roundup: Dupree, Seahawks, Bengals

Despite some whispers of a potential delay, the deadline for teams to place franchise tags on impending free agents was today at 5 p.m. CT. While a handful of players learned that they were slapped with the tag, a number of players naturally learned that they’ll be entering unrestricted free agency. We collected some of those notable players below:

  • The Steelers decided to not tag Bud Dupree, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). The linebacker was hit with the tag last offseason. The former first rounder had another strong season for Pittsburgh, compiling eight sacks in only 11 games.
  • A pair of popular Seahawks players didn’t get franchised: running back Chris Carson (per NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero on Twitter) and cornerback Shaquill Griffin (per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport on Twitter). The team is planning to (at least) make a pursuit at retaining Griffin, per Rapoport.
  • The Bengals didn’t franchise pass rusher Carl Lawson, per Rapoport (on Twitter). The former fourth rounder has collected 10.5 sacks over the past two seasons, with Rapoport opining that the lineman is “one of the NFL’s most underrated players” heading into free agency.
  • The Lions decided to not franchise Romeo Okwara, according to Rapoport (via Twitter). The 25-year-old had a breakout season in Detroit, setting career-highs in tackles (44) and sacks (10).
  • Despite leading the Cardinals with 12.5 sacks last season, Arizona didn’t franchise linebacker Haason Reddick (according to Schefter on Twitter). The former first-rounder also set career-highs in QB hits (16) and tackles for loss (15).
  • The Titans didn’t franchise tight end Jonnu Smith, per Schefter on Twitter. The 25-year-old has shown flashes during his brief NFL career, including a 2020 campaign where he set career-highs in receptions (41), receiving yards (448), and touchdowns (eight).

As a reminder, here are the players who have reportedly been tagged over the past 48 hours:

Seahawks Want To Re-Sign Chris Carson

In a few months, running back Chris Carson will be free to sign with any team. Head coach Pete Carroll hopes that team will be the Seahawks. 

I do know Chris has got to…look out for himself,” Carroll said (via Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times). “So he’s got to see what the situation is. We would love for him to be with us. He’s been a terrific part of our team, and hopefully we can keep that going. In my mind, I can’t imagine anything else happening.”

Carson has flashed serious ability since entering the league in 2017, greatly outperforming his seventh-round draft status. At the same time, he’s been hindered by injuries. In 2019, he notched 278 carries for 1,230 yards, both career-highs, to go along with seven touchdowns. He also tackled on 37 catches for 266 yards and two TDs though the air. Unfortunately, his season ended just before the postseason, due to a fractured hip.

Even though he lost four games to a mid-foot sprain this year, he been remarkably efficient. Heading into Week 17, Carson has an average of 4.9 yards per carry, which would edge his breakout 2018 season.

The Seahawks will have to balance their affinity for Carson with the numbers game. This year’s free agent class will also include safety Jamal Adams and cornerback Shaquill Griffin. Meanwhile, they still have 2018 first-rounder Rashaad Penny and youngsters Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas under contract.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Promote Snacks Harrison

Damon Harrison‘s time on Seattle’s practice squad may be over for good. The Seahawks are promoting the veteran defensive tackle to their active roster.

The Seahawks signed Snacks last month and stashed him on their taxi squad for five weeks in order for the free agent to work his way into full-on game shape. Pete Carroll has expressed optimism on Harrison recently and has decided to pull the trigger on activating him.

This will mark the beginning of Snacks’ ninth NFL season. A 2016 All-Pro with the Giants, Harrison started 15 games with the Lions last season but was not especially happy in Detroit, having considered retirement. He appears to be more content in Seattle, having turned down chances at a 53-man roster spot with the Buccaneers and Dolphins this season.

While the Seahawks’ defense will need more than Harrison to bounce back from a historically dreadful start, the unit did sack Josh Allen seven times in last week’s loss in Buffalo. The Seahawks rank 29th in DVOA against the pass but are interestingly ninth in run defense. Snacks should help on that front.

Seattle also placed defensive tackle Bryan Mone on IR, activated cornerback Neiko Thorpe from IR and promoted running back Alex Collins. The latter’s elevation will help the team with backfield depth; Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde remain sidelined with injuries.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.