This NFL offseason will most likely be one of the busiest in recent memory for the Seattle Seahawks.
The Seahawks will have a number of tough decisions to make surrounding free agency, the NFL Draft, and whether or not they will exercise fifth-year options.
First, what is a fifth-year option?
Every player selected in the first round of the NFL Draft will automatically have a Fifth-Year Option added in his contract. It cannot be separately attached to the player contract.
The option allows a team to retain a player’s rights for five years rather than the standard four, which is the bonus of selecting a player in the first round. In order to extend the contract, the team must inform the player during the period between the last regular season game of his third contract year and May 3 of the next League Year (Art. 7, Sec. 7, (a), 31).
The Fifth-Year Option is non-negotiable, and terms from a player’s rookie contract will be transferred to the fifth year.
A key player in that category for the Seahawks is running back Rashaad Penny, who was the 27th overall pick in 2018.
Has Penny has shown enough promise to indicate he is worthy of that?
NFL.com’s Gil Brandt seems to think the Seahawks will not make that move happen, citing his “injury bug” that he has been dealing with since 2018.
Penny has only accumulated a total of 823 rushing yards with just 5 touchdowns on the ground in three seasons with the Seahawks.
His durability has been the biggest question mark. Penny missed 21 games in three seasons and only played three games in 2020.
Penny hasn’t ever really come close to living up to his expectations.
But now that Penny is healthy and the Seahawks do want to focus on running the ball more with new offensive coordinator Shane Waldron, there could be a chance to give him this next season to prove himself.
With Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde slated to hit free agency, Penny could have a chance to be the featured back if both players depart from Seattle. And the Seahawks will have him on the cheap. Penny commands just a $3.4M cap hit.
But all these things are up to John Schneider and Pete Carroll and what they want to do in that part of the offense.
A lot of decisions will be made once the new NFL season begins on March 17th.
Will the Seahawks take a flier on Penny, who is part of an already thin room at running back? He may benefit from circumstance.
We'll have to wait and see.