The Eagles have agreed to terms of a one-year contract with explosive but oft-injured 27-year-old free agent Rashaad Penny, who spent his first five years with the Seahawks and has the fourth-highest per-carry average in NFL history by a running back.
The news was confirmed by NBC Sports Philadelphia and first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
Penny has played in only 42 games in his five NFL seasons and has averaged just seven games per year since 2019.
MORE: Eagles again make Kelce the highest-paid center in NFL
Penny played this past year on a one-year, $5.7 million contract following his rookie deal and has earned a total of $16 million since the Seahawks made him the 27th pick in the 2018 draft.
Penny’s 5.7 career rushing average trails only Skeets Quinlan – who played in the 1950s – J.J. Dobbins of the Ravens – and Hall of Famer Marion Motley, who played in the 1940s and 1950s among running backs with at least 200 career carries.
But he’s never been a full-time player. He’s averaged just 67 carries per year, started just 11 games and has only had 100 carries in a season once – in 2021 he ran 119 times for 749 yards and led the NFL with a 6.3 average – eighth-highest in history by a running back with at least 100 carries.
Penny, 5-11, 220, has never been much of a receiving back. He has just 27 career receptions for 222 yards and one TD.
Overall, Penny has rushed for 1,918 yards and 13 touchdowns on 337 carries. Despite limited playing time, he has seven 100-yard games, including games with 151, 170 and 190 yards. Along with Jonathan Taylor and Derrick Henry, he’s one of just three running backs in the NFL with at least three 150-yard games in the last two seasons.
With free agent running back Miles Sanders not expected to return to the Eagles, Penny fits into a revamped running back room along with Kenny Gainwell and possibly Trey Sermon, the 49ers’ 3rd-round pick in 2021. Kennedy Brooks could also be in the mix. Boston Scott is a free agent who could be back in 2023.
Sanders made his first Pro Bowl this past season when he ran for 1,269 yards and scored 11 touchdowns. He’s one of only five running backs in NFL history to rush for at least 700 yards and 4.5 yards per carry in each of his first four seasons, along with Gale Sayers, Jim Brown, Alvin Kamara and Nick Chubb.
Sanders has been very vocal about wanting to return to the Eagles, who drafted him out of Penn State in 2019. But that no longer appears to be an option.
Penny is one of only 12 running backs taken in the first round in the last 10 years.
The only running backs drafted in the first round to play for the Eagles in the last 30 years are Ronnie Brown in 2011 and Ryan Matthews in 2015 and 2016. The last running back the Eagles drafted in the first round was Keith Byars in 1986. The last 1st-round pick with 1,000 rushing yards in a season for the Eagles was Steve Van Buren in 1947 and 1949.
After losing defensive starters T.J. Edwards, Marcus Epps and Javon Hargrave and backup offensive lineman Andre Dillard and re-signing Brandon Graham and Jason Kelce, Penney is the first outside free agent the Eagles have brought in.
Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast
Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | Watch on YouTube