Following an early Wild Card round exit, the Seahawks have officially transitioned into an offseason that could be one of the most significant of the Pete Carroll and John Schneider era.
When the new 2021 league year kicks off in March, Seattle will have a whopping 24 players set to become unrestricted free agents. Four players will be restricted free agents, while six will be exclusive rights free agents and several others will be entering the final year of their current contracts ready to negotiate extensions, including safety Jamal Adams.
Over the next several weeks, I will break down each and every one of the Seahawks' unrestricted free agents by revisiting their 2020 seasons, assessing why they should or should not be re-signed, breaking down an ideal contract, and making an early prediction on whether or not the player will return in 2021.
Resuming the series, Carlos Hyde was added as a late free agent signing and flashed when healthy for the Seahawks in 2020. Given the question marks the team faces in the backfield, could he brought back on another team-friendly deal?
Season In Review
With Rashaad Penny in the middle of a long rehab from a torn ACL, Seattle signed Hyde to a one-year contract in May, planning on pairing him with Chris Carson to give the team a dynamic one-two punch in the backfield. He opened the season with a slow start, rushing for just 57 yards as the Seahawks started 3-0, and then he missed five of the next six games due to injury. Upon his return to the lineup, he enjoyed his best game of the season in a 28-21 win over the Cardinals, rushing for a season-high 79 yards and a touchdown. He only eclipsed 50 rushing yards twice over the final six games and wrapped up the season with just 356 rushing yards on 81 carries, the second-lowest total of his career.
Why Seattle Should Re-Sign Him
Considering Carson is also scheduled to become a free agent, the Seahawks face the possibility of entering next season without a proven starter at the running back position. Penny has been a disappointment in his first three seasons due to inconsistent play and injuries, while DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer were day three draft selections who have combined to start three games as injury replacements and the jury remains out on whether either could be a feature back. Only one year removed from eclipsing 1,000 rushing yards with the Texans, Hyde has proven he can carry the load as a bruising, between-the-tackles runner and also has underrated hands as a receiver out of the backfield.
Why Seattle Should Let Him Walk
Set to turn 31 in September, Hyde finds himself on the wrong side of the age spectrum at a position with the shortest shelf life in the sport and is coming off one of the least productive seasons of his career. Though he still displayed plenty of explosion when healthy last year, he no longer possesses the speed to be a consistent home run hitter out of the backfield and missing six games a year ago likely isn't a good omen for an aging ball carrier who doesn't excel as a pass protector. Even with a contract similar to the one he played on last year, his ceiling appears to be complementary No. 2 back rather than starter at this point.
1 year at $2 million
Hyde's status in Seattle depends solely on what happens with Carson, who may be one of the more sought after running backs on the market. If Carson returns, the chances of the Seahawks bringing him back are slim-to-none with Penny expected to be at 100 percent health for training camp and the combination of Dallas and Homer returning. If Carson departs, however re-signing the former Ohio State standout may be more desirable given the lack of experience on the roster otherwise. He may be cheaper to sign than other veteran options on the market such as Leonard Fournette. But if he is re-signed, it won't likely be until later in free agency and like a year ago, it may happen after the draft concludes. Regardless of Carson's status, with many other far more pressing decisions to make, don't expect the Seahawks to make re-signing him a top priority.
Previous Seahawks Free Agent Primers