Eagles agree to terms with free-agent running back Rashaad Penny
Published in Football
PHILADELPHIA — The Eagles have agreed to terms with free agent running back Rashaad Penny, according to league sources confirming an NFL Network report.
The terms to the deal, which can’t be made official until the new league year begins Wednesday afternoon, are unknown.
The Seattle Seahawks selected Penny in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft, but injuries and inconsistency kept him from realizing his potential.
For stretches of his career, Penny has flashed the potential that he showed at San Diego State. He finished the 2021 season with three straight games rushing for more than 100 yards and scored four touchdowns during that stretch. He notably ran for 129 yards on 14 carries against the Eagles in 2019.
Last year, he ran for 346 yards in five games before going on injured reserve with a season-ending leg injury.
Penny’s running style is best defined by his ability to run through arm tackles and break off explosive runs with home-run speed. The 5-foot-11, 220-pound back ran a 4.46-second 40-yard dash at the scouting combine in 2018 and averaged an impressive 4.23 average yards after contact last season, according to Pro Football Focus. He also led the NFL in average yards after contact in 2021, according to PFF.
Staying healthy has been a major concern for Penny during his NFL career. He’s played in just 18 games the past three seasons, suffering a torn ACL in December 2019 and a broken leg in Week 5 last year.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Penny would make a full recovery from the leg injury, which required surgery.
“He’s been through such a long haul, it’s really just a heartbreaking loss for him,” Carroll said on a local radio show last year. “He’s been doing great and everybody can see it, and we’ve been so excited for him. He’s going to miss the rest of this year. He’ll come back, he’ll be able to play again and all of that. It’s a really clear surgery process and all of that, but it just does take a long time.”
The Eagles went into free agency with Kenny Gainwell as the lone running back under contract for next season. Starting back Miles Sanders and key reserve Boston Scott are both on the open market, leaving the Eagles with a chance to rework the running back rotation this offseason.
Penny’s tough running style figures to complement Gainwell’s elusive approach, but the Eagles could certainly target a third back later in free agency or in the draft to fill out the committee. This year’s class of running back prospects is considered one of the deepest in recent memory.
Gainwell saw an increased role during the Eagles’ playoff run and capitalized on the extra carries enough to suggest he’ll be a bigger part of the rotation. The 2021 fifth-round pick ran for 181 yards and a touchdown in the Eagles’ three playoff games.
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