Rashaad Penny

Seahawks Activate RB Rashaad Penny

Rashaad Penny is officially back. The Seahawks activated the running back from injured reserve ahead of tonight’s game against the Saints, reports Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus (via Twitter).

A hamstring injury limited Penny to only one game this season, but he should have an opportunity to contribute on Monday night. With Chris Carson sidelined, Penny will join a running back grouping that includes Alex Collins, DeeJay Dallas, and Travis Homer. Collins is expected to lead the depth chart, but Penny should get some action in what’s expected to be a rain-soaked game.

Penny has dealt with his fair share of injuries since he was selected in the first round of the 2018 draft. The running back has been limited to only 28 games through four seasons, and he sat out the majority of the 2020 campaign while recovering from a torn ACL. Through his first two seasons in the NFL, Penny collected 947 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns on 167 touches.

Prior to the season, the Seahawks declined the 25-year-old fifth-year option, meaning he’ll be a free agent following the 2021 campaign.


Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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 Place RB Rashaad Penny On IR

Some Seahawks Saturday roster reshuffling will bring in multiple reinforcements but move former first-round pick Rashaad Penny back to a familiar place. Penny is back on IR, Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times tweets.

Penny’s contract year is off to a rough start, with the former San Diego State standout having played just seven snaps — all in Week 1 — before going down with a calf injury. He is now out for Seattle’s next three games.

While the Penny pick surprised most at the time, he has impressed at points. But he has not overtaken former seventh-round pick Chris Carson in Seattle’s lineup and has run into extensive injury misfortune. Penny tore an ACL late in the 2019 season and did not return until December 2020. He underwent another knee surgery this offseason. The Seahawks declined Penny’s fifth-year option in May.

Better news comes at other positions for the 1-2 Seahawks. They activated tackle Cedric Ogbuehi and tight end Colby Parkinson off IR. Parkinson suffered a foot fracture for the second straight summer. His return will help a team that has Gerald Everett on its reserve/COVID-19 list. Everett tested positive for the coronavirus this week and has not submitted a negative test yet. Ogbuehi’s return to work comes at a key juncture, with starting right tackle Brandon Shell ruled out for Week 4 with an ankle injury.

A fourth-round pick out of Stanford last year, Parkinson has played in just six games as a pro. But this year’s foot fracture was not as serious as the injury he suffered in 2020. Parkinson’s return stands to help a Seahawks team that has seen extensive tight end unavailability over the past few seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Injury Updates: Penny, Davenport, Taylor, Brown

Rashaad Penny has struggled to stay healthy during his brief NFL career, and the Seahawks running back suffered another injury on Sunday. Penny left the game early with a calf injury, and NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport tweets that the 25-year-old is expected to be “shut down for a few weeks” while he recovers. An IR stint could be a possibility for the running back.

Fortunately for the Seahawks, they’re rostering a handful of capable running backs behind Chris Carson, including DeeJay Dallas, Travis Homer and Alex Collins. Head coach Pete Carroll pointed to that depth when explaining why the team would be cautious during Penny’s recovery.

“He’s got a calf strain, so it’ll take us a bit to figure out what the return would be on that,” Carroll said (via the team’s website). “He ran really well when he ran the other night, so we’re going to miss him, it looks like this week, we won’t know. We’ll let you know how that goes. But Alex is ready to go, and both Homer and DeeJay, they’re ready to go too, so we’re in good shape. We had four running backs up this week, so we’re in pretty good shape at the position. Unfortunately, if it takes him a couple weeks, then we’ll figure out how to handle that.”

Penny, a 2018 first-round pick, appeared in only 13 games between the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

Some more injury notes from around the NFL:

  • Saints defensive end Marcus Davenport will be sidelined while he recovers from a pectoral strain, per Rapoport on Twitter. The pass rusher is expected to miss some time but “should be back sooner rather than later.” Following a disappointing 2020 campaign, Davenport was hoping for a bounce-back season in 2021. He was already on his way, as he compiled three tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss, and one QB hit before falling to his injury.
  • Texans defensive tackle Vincent Taylor suffered an ankle injury yesterday that will require surgery, according to Mark Berman of Fox26 in Houston (via Twitter). Taylor is expected to be sidelined for six weeks. Taylor signed a one-year contract with Houston this offseason, and he started Sunday’s game before suffering the injury. The 27-year-old got into a career-high 15 games for the Browns last season, finishing with 12 tackles.
  • Patriots offensive tackle Trent Brown exited yesterday’s loss with a calf injury, but the offensive lineman is now just considered day-to-day, according to Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. Brown re-joined the Patriots this offseason after having spent the past two seasons with the Raiders.

Rashaad Penny Underwent Offseason Knee Surgery

The Seahawks’ Rashaad Penny draft choice surprised most at the time, and the first-round pick has not lived up to the team’s expectations. A 2019 injury did the most to sidetrack the running back’s career.

The ACL tear Penny sustained in December 2019 continues to impact his status. Penny underwent surgery on the same knee this offseason, Pete Carroll said Tuesday. Although Carroll called the operation a cleanup procedure, per ESPN.com’s Brady Henderson (on Twitter), the 12th-year Seahawks HC generally veers toward the overly optimistic side when assessing injuries.

Penny is not participating fully at the Seahawks’ minicamp, though Carroll said the fourth-year back is getting some work in. The 2019 knee injury and subsequent surgery sidelined Penny for most of the 2020 season, but he is expected to be ready for training camp this year. The Seahawks did not activate Penny until mid-December of last season — more than a year after the tear — and he logged just 11 touches in the three games he played last season. Seattle did not pick up his fifth-year option in May, turning the 2021 season into a contract year.

Penny’s knee injury halted a season in which he was averaging 5.7 yards per carry; the San Diego State product had amassed 203 rushing yards in his previous two games. The Seahawks brought in Carlos Hyde as a Penny substitute in 2020 but let him defect to the Jaguars this year, thinning out the depth chart behind Chris Carson.

The recently re-signed Carson remains Seattle’s starter, but the team does not have much in the way of experience behind Penny. Recent Day 3 picks Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas and second-stint Seahawk Alex Collins represent the other notable names on the depth chart. Considering Carson missed four games last season, the competition for the Seahawks’ third-string back stands to be more relevant than such battles usually are.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Seahawks Decline Rashaad Penny’s Option

The Seahawks will decline Rashaad Penny‘s fifth-year option (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). This was the expected move as the running back was limited to just three games in 2020.

Penny, the No. 27 overall pick in 2018, finished last year with just eleven carries for 34 yards. He spent much of the year on IR and, in the two previous years, he didn’t do much to justify his draft status. Exercising Penny’s option would have meant a $4.523MM salary in 2022. Furthermore, that sum would have been fully guaranteed, per the league’s new rules for the fifth-year option for first-round picks.

While on the field, Penny has at least looked the part of a decent backup. In his first two seasons, Penny took 150 carries for 789 yards (5.3 yards per attempt) and five touchdowns. He also added 17 receptions for 158 yards and one score. Now, he’ll look to reassert himself alongside Chris Carson, Travis Homer, and DeeJay Dallas.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2022 NFL Fifth-Year Option Tracker

NFL teams have until May 3 to officially pick up their options on 2018 first-rounders who are entering the final year of their rookie deals. In a change from years past, fifth-year option seasons are fully guaranteed, rather than guaranteed for injury only. Meanwhile, salaries are now determined by a blend of the player’s position, initial draft placement, and specific performance metrics:

  • 2-time Pro Bowlers (excluding alternate Pro Bowlers) will earn the same as their position’s franchise tag.
  • 1-time Pro Bowlers will earn the equivalent of the transition tag.
  • Players who achieve any of the following will get the average of the 3rd-20th highest salaries at their position:
    • 75%+ snaps in two of their first three seasons
    • 75%+ average across all three seasons
    • 50%+ in each of first three seasons
  • Players who do not hit any of those benchmarks will get the average of the 3rd-25th top salaries at their position.

With the deadline looming, we’ll use the space below to track all the option decisions from around the league:

Updated 4-30-21, 4:24pm CT

  1. QB Baker Mayfield, Browns: Exercised ($18.858MM)
  2. RB Saquon Barkley, Giants: Exercised ($7.217MM)
  3. QB Sam Darnold, Panthers (via Jets): Pending ($18.858MM)
  4. CB Denzel Ward, Browns — Exercised ($13.294MM)
  5. LB Bradley Chubb, Broncos — Pending ($12.716MM)
  6. G Quenton Nelson, Colts — Pending ($13.754MM)
  7. QB Josh Allen, Bills: Pending ($23.106MM)
  8. LB Roquan Smith, Bears: Exercised ($9.735MM)
  9. OT Mike McGlinchey, 49ers: Exercised ($10.88MM)
  10. QB Josh Rosen, Cardinals: N/A
  11. S Minkah Fitzpatrick, Steelers (via Dolphins): Exercised ($10.612MM)
  12. DT Vita Vea, Buccaneers: Exercised ($7.638MM)
  13. DT Daron Payne, Washington — Exercised ($8.529MM)
  14. DE Marcus Davenport, Saints: Exercised ($9.553MM)
  15. OT Kolton Miller, Raiders — N/A (extension)
  16. LB Tremaine Edmunds, Bills: Pending ($12.716MM)
  17. S Derwin James, Chargers: Exercised ($9.052MM)
  18. CB Jaire Alexander, Packers: Exercised ($13.294MM)
  19. LB Leighton Vander Esch, Cowboys: Pending ($9.145MM)
  20. C Frank Ragnow, Lions: Exercised ($12.657MM)
  21. C Billy Price, Bengals: Declined ($10.413MM)
  22. LB Rashaan Evans, Titans: Pending ($9.735MM)
  23. OT Isaiah Wynn, Patriots: Pending ($10.413 MM)
  24. WR D.J. Moore, Panthers: Exercised ($11.116MM)
  25. TE Hayden Hurst, Falcons (via Ravens): Pending ($5.428MM)
  26. WR Calvin Ridley, Falcons: Pending ($11.116MM)
  27. RB Rashaad Penny, Seahawks: Pending ($4.523MM)
  28. S Terrell Edmunds, Steelers: Pending ($6.753MM)
  29. DT Taven Bryan, Jaguars: Pending ($7.638MM)
  30. CB Mike Hughes, Vikings: Pending ($12.643MM)
  31. RB Sony Michel, Patriots: Pending ($4.523MM)
  32. QB Lamar Jackson, Ravens: Exercised ($23.106MM)

NFL’s Fifth-Year Option Salaries For 2021

The NFL’s 2021 salary cap has been set at $182.5MM, marking the league’s first reduction in a decade. With that, the league has also ironed out the value of this year’s fifth-round option for 2018 first-round picks.

Here’s the full rundown, via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter):

1. Baker Mayfield, Browns, QB — $18.858MM (playing time)

2. Saquon Barkley, Giants, RB — $7.217MM (1x Pro Bowl)

3. Sam Darnold, Jets, QB — $18.858MM (playing time)

4. Denzel Ward, Browns, CB — $13.294MM (1x Pro Bowl)

5. Bradley Chubb, Broncos, LB — $12.716MM (1x Pro Bowl)

6. Quenton Nelson, Colts, G — $13.754MM (2x Pro Bowl)

7. Josh Allen, Bills, QB — $23.106MM (1x Pro Bowl)

8. Roquan Smith, Bears, LB — $9.735MM (playing time)

9. Mike McGlinchey, 49ers, OT — $10.88MM (playing time)

10. Josh Rosen, Cardinals, QB*

11. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Steelers, S (drafted by Dolphins) — $10.612MM (2x Pro Bowl)

12. Vita Vea, Buccaneers, DT — $7.638MM

13. Daron Payne, Washington, DT — $8.529MM (playing time)

14. Marcus Davenport, Saints, DE — $9.553MM

15. Kolton Miller, Raiders, OT — $10.88MM (playing time)

16. Tremaine Edmunds, Bills, LB — $12.716MM (1x Pro Bowl)

17. Derwin James, Chargers, S — $9.052MM (1x Pro Bowl)

18. Jaire Alexander, Packers, CB — $13.294MM (1x Pro Bowl)

19. Leighton Vander Esch, Cowboys, LB — $9.145MM

20. Frank Ragnow, Lions, C — $12.657MM (1x Pro Bowl)

21. Billy Price, Bengals, C — $10.413MM

22. Rashaan Evans, Titans, LB — $9.735MM (playing time)

23. Isaiah Wynn, Patriots, OT — $10.413MM

24. D.J. Moore, Panthers, WR — $11.116MM (playing time)

25. Hayden Hurst, Falcons, TE (Drafted by Ravens) — $5.428MM

26. Calvin Ridley, Falcons, WR — $11.116MM (playing time)

27. Rashaad Penny, Seahawks, RB — $4.523MM

28., Steelers, S Terrell Edmunds — $6.753MM (playing time)

29. Taven Bryan, Jaguars, DT — $7.638MM

30. Mike Hughes, Vikings, CB — $12.643MM

31. Sony Michel, Patriots, RB — $4.523MM

32. Lamar Jackson, Ravens, QB — $23.106MM (1x Pro Bowl)

* Rosen was released from his original contract and, therefore, is not option-eligible 

As a refresher, the fifth-year option year is now fully guaranteed. In the past, it was guaranteed for injury only. The values are also dependent on certain performance metrics:

  • Two-time Pro Bowlers (excluding alternate Pro Bowlers) will earn the same as their position’s franchise tag.
  • One-time Pro Bowlers will earn the equivalent of the transition tag.
  • Players who achieve any of the following will get the average of the 3rd-20th highest salaries at their position:
    • 75%+ snaps in two of their first three seasons
    • 75%+ average across all three seasons
    • 50%+ in each of first three seasons
  • Players who do not hit any of those benchmarks will get the average of the 3rd-25th top salaries at their position.

Seahawks Expected To Activate RB Rashaad Penny

Rashaad Penny is on track to make his season debut tomorrow against Washington. ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler reports (via Twitter) that the Seahawks will activate the running back off the PUP list.

Penny, the 27th-overall pick in the 2018 draft, was unable to supplant Chris Carson as the starter during his first two seasons in the NFL, but he still put up solid numbers as a backup. In 24 games, Penny has 150 carries for 789 yards (5.3 yards per attempt) and five touchdowns. He’s also added 17 receptions for 158 yards and one score.

However, Penny suffered a torn ACL at the end of last season, and the 24-year-old landed on the reserve/PUP list to start the 2020 campaign. He started practicing last week, and despite Pete Carroll initially insisting that they wouldn’t rush Penny’s return, the running back quickly drew high praise from the head coach.

“He’s really in good shape. I don’t know what that means for next week, but he looked as healthy as anybody out there,” Carroll said (via ESPN’s Brady Henderson). “So we’ll take it one shot at a time here, but very, very positive initial return and I know he’s really jacked about it.”

While the Seahawks found themselves with a depleted running back corps down the stretch of last season, they now find themselves with a full depth chart. Carson and Carlos Hyde are both healthy, and the team is also rostering fourth-round rookie DeeJay Dallas. Penny will once again have to battle for carries, but the Seahawks will surely give him a look prior to the postseason.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC West Notes: Cardinals, Whitworth, Garoppolo

Cardinals NT Corey Peters is out for the season due to a torn patellar tendon, and as he is in the final year of his contract with Arizona, it’s possible he has already played his last game with the team. But if he has it his way, that won’t be the case.

The 32-year-old said that he would love to spend the rest of his career with the Cardinals, as Mason Kern of SI.com writes, and assuming the price is right, it would make sense for GM Steve Keim to keep him. Peters was named Arizona’s nominee for the Walter Payton Man of the Year award yesterday, and he has been a team captain for three years running. In addition to his stout defense against the run, he is a highly-respected spiritual and emotional leader, so look for the two sides to discuss a reunion this offseason.

Now for more from the NFC West:

  • Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald says he feels much better after testing positive for COVID-19 late last month, though he has yet to regain his senses of taste and smell (Twitter link via Kimberley A. Martin of ESPN.com). Fitz also says he lost nine pounds during his bout with the coronavirus, but he did come off the reserve/COVID-19 list on Tuesday, and as Darren Urban of the team’s official website tweets, the 37-year-old will suit up against the Giants this weekend.
  • After sinking 88.6% of his field goal tries in 2019, Cardinals kicker Zane Gonzalez has converted just 72.7% of his attempts this year, prompting some to wonder if the team will seek another option. But Keim will keep rolling with Gonzalez, saying, “I know people question Zane but Zane has a lot of talent. … I think Zane will work through the tough times” (Twitter link via Urban). Gonzalez is playing out the season on his RFA tender, and this is not how he wanted to enter his first offseason as an unrestricted free agent.
  • The Rams suddenly find themselves atop the NFC West, and they could be getting their left tackle back soon. Andrew Whitworth has been on the shelf since the middle of November with a torn MCL and PCL, but Jay Glazer of FOX Sports says (via Twitter) that the veteran OT, who turns 39 tomorrow, will test out the knee next week. Whitworth is apparently way ahead of schedule and could return by the end of the regular season.
  • Jimmy Garoppolo‘s future with the 49ers is in some doubt, even though HC Kyle Shanahan recently said he expects the dashing signal-caller to be the team’s starter in 2021. That may well be the case, but Matt Barrows of The Athletic believes San Francisco will select a QB in next year’s draft, perhaps as high as the second round. There could be a few intriguing prospects available at that point that Shanahan may be able to turn into a viable starter at the professional level. Players like Florida’s Kyle Trask or Alabama’s Mac Jones could both be options.
  • It has now been over a year since Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny last suited up for a game, but as John Boyle of the team’s official website notes, Penny returned to practice this week. Head coach Pete Carroll says he’s excited about what he has seen from Penny in practice (Twitter link via 710 ESPN Seattle), and the ‘Hawks could certainly use a boost to an RB corps that has dealt with a number of injuries this season. Per Boyle, CB Quinton Dunbar, who has been on IR for a few weeks with a knee injury, has also returned to practice.
  • The Seahawks signed QB Alex McGough to their practice squad yesterday, and as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, the team has put its other PS signal-caller, Danny Etling, in a bubble. The Broncos, of course, recently had to play a game with a practice squad wide receiver at QB because the rest of their quarterbacks were deemed high-risk close contacts of Jeff Driskel, who had tested positive. The Seahawks are keeping Etling in a bubble to guard against just such a situation.