Free agency was off and running in full force starting Monday afternoon, and the Philadelphia Eagles were pretty quiet to open the legal tampering period. Howie Roseman started making moves on Tuesday though, and the first outside player he brought in is former Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny, who will presumably replace Miles Sanders as the team’s early-down back. The contract is for one year at $1.3 million, with a max value of $2 million with incentives.

Penny was a first round pick by Seattle in the 2018 NFL Draft out of San Diego State, but has never had more than 119 carries in a season, largely due to injury. He has only played 42 career games in five seasons, and is coming off a broken tibia he suffered in Week 5 of last season. Penny’s durability is by far his biggest flaw as a player and is why he was able to be had at such a small cost.

When healthy, however, Penny has legitimately been one of the best running backs in the NFL, especially over the past two seasons. In 2021, he ended the season with a five game stretch where he had 92 carries for 671 yards (7.3 YPC) and 6 touchdowns. Entering 2022, he had 57 carries for 346 yards (6.1 YPC) and 2 touchdowns before suffering the aforementioned injury. Penny is a powerful guy who runs hard and decisively, which will perhaps be a pleasant change of pace from Sanders, who while talented was sometimes frustrating to watch given his propensity to bounce runs to the outside rather than hit the hole. Here he is last year before his injury (click “Watch on YouTube”):

Penny staying healthy this upcoming season will obviously be far from a sure thing, but I was honestly shocked that he could not get more money on the open market, and this contract could become an absolute steal for the Eagles. Penny likely won’t be counted on to shoulder the load with Kenny Gainwell and Boston Scott also there, and he should be a better fit (and probably even an upgrade) over Sanders on early downs given his tough, powerful style. The team did not invest much into him financially if he were to get hurt again, and if he manages to make it through the season it is a home run addition to an already loaded offense. 

 

Photo: David Reginek/USA Today Sports

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