Even after selecting DeeJay Dallas in the fourth round of the 2020 NFL Draft, the Seahawks knew they needed to add a veteran to their backfield.
Carlos Hyde ended up being the guy, signing a one-year contract worth up to $4 million. Hyde, a former 2014 second-round pick of the 49ers, is entering his seventh season. He’s coming off of his first-career 1,000-yard season where he posted 1,070 yards and six touchdowns for the Texans in 2019.
He’ll join a competition for reps with Chris Carson, 2020 fourth-round pick DeeJay Dallas and second-year back Travis Homer. Rashaad Penny isn’t expected to be ready for the start of the season as he continues to rehab a torn ACL.
But while Hyde will fight for the biggest piece of the timeshare, he understands the reality that if Carson is healthy, he’ll be the Seahawks starter.
“It’s probably an open competition for that second role,” Hyde said on Monday via Zoom call. “Me personally, I don’t think there’s an open competition for the starting role. I think everybody knows who the starting running back is for Seattle, that’s Carson. I knew that before I even signed, that he was the guy.”
That gesture of respect comes from an understanding that Carson is one of the better running backs in the NFL who has bitten all too often by the injury bug. He posted a career-high 1,230 yards in 2019.
“He puts up 1,000 yards like it’s nothing each year,” Hyde said. “It’s tough to come in and replace a guy like that. I’m open to the competition. This isn’t my first year in the league. I’m going on Year 7. I’m used to competing. It brings out the best in me.”
The reality is that Carson has missed 15 game over his first three seasons. While he’s expected to be ready for Week 1, there’s no telling whether or not he’ll be slowed at all by the lingering effects of his hip injury.
That could open the door for Hyde to be more of a No. 1-a option rather than a true backup.
Hyde is coming off of an injury of his own – a torn labrum. He played through the ailment all of last season, but should have no problem being ready for the start of camp come late July.