After Whiffing on Devonta Freeman, Should Seahawks Shift Attention to Carlos Hyde?
Amid growing concern running back Rashaad Penny could miss the start of the 2020 season, Seahawks general manager John Schneider has been exploring the free agent market for a veteran ball carrier.
While Seattle hasn't been successful with the pursuit so far, the team has remained aggressive and they’ve reportedly spoken to a pair of 1,000-yard rushers in recent weeks.
According to Michael Silver of NFL.com, Seattle has shown interest in Carlos Hyde and Devonta Freeman this offseason. In fact, the team offered Freeman a one-year deal worth up to $4 million, but he ultimately turned it down.
Though it may be a long shot for Seattle to sign either player, there’s an argument to be made that Hyde would be a great backfield fit. Despite entering his age-30 season in 2020, the Ohio State product proved he’s still capable of performing at a high level last season with the Texans.
During the 2019 campaign, Hyde played in 16 regular season games with Houston, producing a career-best 1,070 rushing yards, six touchdowns, and averaging 4.4 yards per carry.
In addition, the 6-foot running back finished tied with the 14th-most yards after contact (562) and recorded the 23rd-most broken tackles (31) among all running backs in the league, according to Sports-Info-Solutions.com.
As a receiver, Hyde was also pleasantly productive in the Texans’ offense this past season. In total, the former second-round pick caught 10 of his 16 targets (62.5 percent catch rate) for 42 yards and created 51 yards after the catch along with a pair of broken tackles created.
Despite these encouraging results from the 2019 campaign, Hyde has experienced some ball security issues throughout his six seasons in the league and those woes came full circle this past season.
Overall, the former Texan lost four fumbles (tied for third-most among all running backs in the league) and also had one pass drop through his hands. Unfortunately for the veteran ball carrier, these issues along with crossing the age-30 threshold have undoubtedly hurt his market value this spring.
If the Seahawks are looking to find a running back similar to Penny’s style, Hyde probably isn’t the player for them, as he’s more of a downhill running back rather than an explosive home run threat at this stage. He's a north and south runner who more emulates Chris Carson's style.
In 2019, Hyde only ran 20 of his 245 rushing attempts outside the numbers to the sideline, tied for 16th-fewest among all running backs in the league. In comparison, Carson carried just 27 of his 278 rushing attempts outside of the numbers this past season.
Based on Freeman’s asking price of $5 million, it’s very likely that Hyde would have a similar price range on a one-year deal given his recent production. With that being said, there’s also a chance his demands will lower if he continues to sit on the open market this summer.
While nothing is ever impossible for Schneider and his staff, overcoming this financial gap might be too difficult for Seattle. As a result, the team could be forced to look elsewhere for an inexpensive veteran running back before training camp begins this summer, and given the price tag to sign players like Freeman and Hyde, fans may welcome such a development.