How the Seahawks paid RB Rashaad Penny $3.037 million for 34 rushing yards

Monday marks two weeks since the start of free agency’s legal tampering period and a full month until the 2022 NFL Draft takes place in Las Vegas in late April. For the Seattle Seahawks, that means about four months before the start of training camp and more than five months before the start of the 2022 season for teams like Seattle to answer questions at multiple positions on the roster. In particular, questions the team will need to answer by the start of the season in September include:

  • Who will be quarterback?
  • Will Dee Eskridge, Freddie Swain or someone else be the third wide receiver?
  • Who will be the starting tackles?

However, one question the team has already answered in free agency is whether running back Rashaad Penny’s late-season outburst would leave the Hawks searching for answers in that position. With Penny and the team agreeing to the terms of a one-year deal that will see him roster with a cap of $5.47 million for the 2022 season. That, of course, means Penny’s performances in home stretch last season saw him earn more than the $4.523 million the team could have secured his services for had they exercised the fifth-year option in his rookie contract.

Now, this isn’t to criticize the team for turning down Penny’s fifth-year option, because there was no reason to exercise the option and give Penny $4.523 million fully guaranteed. after his disastrous 2020 performance returning from multiple knee surgeries. That said, while there’s no reason to criticize Penny’s refusal to exercise fifth-year option, there’s plenty of room to criticize her use on the field in 2020.

As covered here at Field Gulls in detail in January, the only reason Penny was an unrestricted free agent after the 2021 season is because the Seahawks chose to put him on the field for three games at the end of the season. year. In those three games, Penny saw the field for a total of 38 offensive snaps, gained 34 yards on 11 rushing attempts, and cost the Seahawks a few million dollars.

Specifically, with the CBA’s COVID amendment in place for the 2020 season, Penny was able to earn an accumulating season by being on the roster for just one game, rather than the normal six games. Thus, with one accumulated season earned in the 2020 season, Penny finished the 2021 season with four accumulated seasons and was therefore eligible for free agency when his contract expired at the end of the league year.

Had Penny not earned an accumulated season in 2020, he would have finished the 2021 season with three accumulated seasons and would have been a restricted free agent at the end of his rookie contract. At that time, the team could have retained him for the 2022 season on an initial tender, which would have been a one-year, $2.433 million contract.

In summary, the answer to the question posed in January about Rashaad Penny’s 34-yard rushing cost to the Seahawks is now known, and the answer is $3.037 million.

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