Earlier this offseason, it came out that Chris Carson‘s playing days may very well be over. Today, that fear has been confirmed, as Carson is retiring from the NFL at the age of 27 (Twitter link via NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport).
Carson was limited to just four games this season as a result of a neck injury. It was the latest in a long list of issues preventing him from playing a full season in any of his five NFL seasons, all spent in Seattle. In June, head coach Pete Carroll indicated that the injury severely threated Carson’s ability to play again.
As Rapoport notes, the Seahawks are officially releasing Carson (who has one non-void year remaining on his contract) with a failed physical designation. Doing so will allow him to receive injury protection benefits, just as they have done previously with the likes of Cliff Avril and Kam Chancellor. While that news will certainly help Carson financially, today is nevertheless the unfortunate end of his NFL career.
The five-year veteran, who signed a two-year deal worth $10.4MM in March 2021, will still collect $2MM from the Seahawks via injury protection, Joel Corry of CBS Sports tweets. The Seahawks will be hit with $1.2MM of that cost on their 2022 salary cap.
Then, earlier this month, Carson expressed his intentions of working to get back on the field in spite of the long odds. “I see myself playing until I feel like stopping,” he said. “My mindset is never to give up, so I’m staying positive like I said, and [will] continue to fight and get back onto the field.”
The former seventh-round pick took on the No. 1 role in his second season, and held onto it until the neck injury. He topped 1,100 rushing yards in 2018 and 2019, providing the offense with a consistent, quality presence. Overall, he amassed 4,306 scrimmage yards and 31 total touchdowns in 49 career games.
Seattle added youth at the position in recent years, drafting Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas. Most recently, they added Kenneth Walker this past April, further signaling that Carson’s days may have been numbered. That trio, along with Rashaad Penny, will look to fill the void left by Carson’s absence.