Seahawks add a RB
Watching the Seattle Seahawks running game last year one thing was evident: The team needed a backup running back.
Last years roster was comprised of a starting running back (Marshawn Lynch) and two change of pace backs (Justin Forsett and Leon Washington).
When Lynch was injured the team could not move the ball on the ground.
Justin Forsett became a free agent this year and it was very clear that despite showing a lot of promise while he was trying to make the team, he was nothing more than a poor man’s Maurice Morris and the Seahawks would be looking to go in a different direction.
No Bush No Worries
Earlier in the week former Raiders running back Michael Bush visited with the Seahawks.
I would have been thrilled with his signing but as I stated in my free agency preview I did not expect that to happen because of the money involved. Bush ended up signing with the Bears yesterday on a 4-year $14 million contract with $7 million guaranteed.
That is a lot of coin for a backup/3rd down back (what he would have been with Seattle).
So today the Seahawks went a different direction and signed former Buccaneers and Packers running back Kregg Lumpkin to an undisclosed contract.
Though the contract is undisclosed I would assume it is fairly small with thousands, not millions guaranteed like the one Bush signed. Is he the player that Bush is? Not even close, but that doesn’t mean this isn’t a better choice for the team.
Money is a very important factor to consider for the short term as well as the long term success of an organization when adding players during free agency, especially players who are not starters on your team.
John Schneider knows Lumpkin well from his time with the Packers.
Another Seahawk who knows Lumpkin well is their new quarterback Matt Flynn whose first two seasons in the league happened to be spent with Kregg Lumpkin (also Lumpkin’s first two seasons in the league, most of the time spent on the practice squad) in Green Bay.
With Lumpkin, the Seahawks acquire a big, powerful running back who is a true backup. He can lower his shoulders and power through people like (not to the extent) Marshawn Lynch can.
If Lynch goes down, we would likely see him getting the bulk of the carries with Leon Washington seeing more than he usually does.
Short Yardage Answer?
While Lynch is healthy, Lumpkin can take some of the short yardage running plays, where the running backs get pummeled to gain a yard away from Lynch to help keep him fresh and healthy.
Kregg can also handle the 3rd down back responsibilities that Justin Forsett has held.
For his career, he has 12 more receptions then he does rushing attempts. He has never found the end zone during his NFL career but on the other hand he has never fumbled either.
Adding Lumpkin at this point in time gives the Seahawks options. They can stand pat and go into the Season with him as the backup running back or the team can look in the draft and see if a player they like falls to them in the draft.
Probably at a time when Pete Carroll and John Schneider view him as a value pick and then let the two players “compete” for the job.
At that point if Lumpkin loses out, it won’t hurt the team to release him (assuming I’m right on the contract).
Motto of free agency, give yourself options and avoid panic. That’s exactly what this signing does for the Seattle Seahawks.