AP source: Rashaad Penny returning to Seattle on 1-year deal

SEATTLE — Running back Rashaad Penny is returning to the Seattle Seahawks after agreeing to terms on a one-year deal, a person with knowledge of the agreement told The Associated Press. The new contract will keep Penny with the team he’s played for for four seasons.

Penny can earn up to $6.5 million for the one-year contract, according to the person who spoke to the AP on the condition of anonymity Sunday because the team had not announced the deal. The agreement was first reported by NFL Network.

Finally healthy for an extended period, Penny was the best running back in the NFL for the final month of last season. He rushed for 706 yards and six touchdowns over the last six weeks, showing the potential that made him a first-round pick of the Seahawks in 2018. Penny topped 100 yards rushing five times during that stretch and capped the season with a career-high 190 yards in the finale against Arizona.

He finished the season with 749 yards rushing total and averaged 6.3 yards per carry.

Penny’s return strengthens what appears to be a return to Seattle’s philosophy based around the run game following the trade of Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos. The Seahawks are optimistic that running back Chris Carson will be able to return following neck surgery that caused him to miss most of last season and can finally partner with Penny to have the kind of dual running threat coach Pete Carroll has wanted.

Penny, 26, had a troublesome first three seasons with Seattle, defined by injuries and inconsistent performance. He broke a finger during his first training camp in Seattle, suffered an ACL tear in his knee late in the 2019 season and dealt with hamstring and calf issues at various times. Penny has played in just 37 of a possible 65 regular-season games through four seasons.

But what he showed at the conclusion of last season gave Seattle hope something had changed. Penny ran with conviction and vision and was able to use his speed to break off big plays. He had 13 run plays of 15 or more yards in the latter half of last season. Eight of those went for at least 25 yards.