The thick of the NFL offseason has already arrived which means free agency will soon begin in earnest. Teams cannot contact unrestricted free agents until March 15, exactly two days before the start of the 2021 league year. However, news regarding the top players will circulate before the free agency officially kicks off, and this year’s market could feature big-name talents like Dak Prescott, Chris Godwin, Allen Robinson, and Kenny Golladay. The franchise tag will likely remove one or more from the open market, but more will reach free agency when the legal-tampering period opens.
2020 in review
Though Chris Carson started only 12 games in 2020 (his fewest since his rookie season), he put together a quality campaign that saw him set or tie his career marks in rushing efficiency (4.8 yards per attempt) and touchdowns (nine). The Seattle Seahawks still featured him as their lead back but managed to find opportunities for backups Carlos Hyde and DeeJay Dallas, an approach that cut into Carson’s workload but probably helped improve his per-snap numbers.
Given Carson’s abilities as both a runner and receiver, he could garner interest from teams running versions of Kyle Shanahan’s offense. The New York Jets, who pulled head coach Robert Saleh and offensive coordinator Mike LaFleur from Shanahan’s San Francisco 49ers, profile as a reasonable landing spot for Carson. The Atlanta Falcons and new head coach Arthur Smith could make use of his skill set, though their salary-cap issues make signing the veteran running back difficult.
Do the Seahawks want to keep him?
Head coach Pete Carroll has sung Carson’s praises while also recommitting to the ground game. That approach might infuriate fans and franchise quarterback Russell Wilson, but it does give the team plenty of motivation to bring back Carson for 2021, at least in a vacuum. However, Seattle’s cap restraints and Carson’s salary demands could push him out of town.
If Carson re-signs with the Seahawks, he will remain an RB1 for fantasy purposes heading into 2021. He could hold onto that status with other teams, but few offenses prioritize the run the way Seattle has.
While limited information has surfaced regarding Carson’s possible destinations, the Seahawks have probably already bowed out of the race.