While the Seattle Seahawks needed Marshawn Lynch to retire to free up salary cap space, it’s left them with an incredibly thin backfield behind presumed starter Thomas Rawls.
Rawls and futures contract signing Cameron Marshall are the only two running backs of any kind currently under contract with Seattle for the 2016 season. Bryce Brown, Fred Jackson and fullback Will Tukuafu are all unrestricted free agents while Christine Michael and fullback Derrick Coleman are restricted free agents.
Rawls is also coming off a broken ankle that ended his rookie season after 830 yards and four touchdowns in seven starts replacing an injured Lynch.
While Rawls showed special qualities as a rookie and the Seahawks believe he will be ready for the start of training camp, they aren’t putting all their eggs in one basket either.
“He definitely has the talent to (take over for Lynch), but we’re going to get a couple people in there to compete with him,” general manager John Schneider said Wednesday. “And he’s recovering from a significant injury as well too. He’s a fun kid and a really talented guy. I just can’t tell you that (he’ll succeed) right now. I’d go to (Las) Vegas if I could tell you that.”
Rawls is certainly the leader in the clubhouse for the job. He flashed an explosive ability that included a 209-yard effort against the San Francisco 49ers. But even with Rawls’ success, the Seahawks will need to replenish their backfield.
Head coach Pete Carroll expressed a desire to bring back Michael after a strong finish to the season in relief of Lynch and Rawls. But even then, they’ll need a couple rookies (drafted or otherwise) and perhaps a veteran addition to provide depth and competition in camp.