It's all but a guarantee that the Seattle Seahawks will open the 2020 NFL season without at least one of their top two running backs, thanks to Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny both rehabilitating from serious 2019 injuries. In light of that reality, however, Seattle has bolstered the position with another starting-caliber player, signing former Houston Texans standout Carlos Hyde to a one-year deal.
First reported by NFL Network, the move comes just days after Seattle reportedly offered a contract to fellow free agent running back Devonta Freeman, formerly of the Atlanta Falcons. Freeman, who's reportedly also drawn interest from the New York Jets and Philadelphia Eagles, "didn't bite at their offer," per NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, so the Seahawks quickly pivoted to Hyde, arguably the top back still on the market. The addition likely also spells the end of any rumors that two-time Seahawk Marshawn Lynch might hold off on a permanent retirement to stick around for 2020.
Carson, who's topped 1,100 rushing yards in two straight seasons as Seattle's starter, is expected to be ready for the start of the season after suffering a hip fracture in December. Penny, the club's 27th overall pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, isn't likely to be back so soon after suffering a torn ACL in Week 14 of the 2019 campaign. Recovery from knee surgery could very well keep the 24-year-old, who averaged nearly six yards per carry as a second-year pro, on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list to open 2020.
In other words, Hyde should be a welcome addition in Seattle, where he's likely to split carries with Carson to start the year. The 29-year-old former second-rounder has now changed teams five times in the last two years, but he's accumulated plenty of starting experience and is fresh off a career year in which he rushed for a personal-best 1,070 yards with the Texans. A backup with the San Francisco 49ers to start his NFL career, Hyde combined for 17 touchdowns from 2016-17 before splitting the 2018 campaign between the Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars.