When free agency started, most felt the Eagles would be right in the thick of things in regards to finding a running back. After all, they were rumored to be parting ways with Miles Sanders and scouting all the top backs in the 2023 NFL Draft. As it turns out, the rumors were true and they were indeed wanting to improve their current stable of runners. Surprisingly, they jumped in and signed former Seahawk Rashaad Penny, a talented but oft-injured running back capable of both monster game streaks and long stints on injured reserve. The move changes some values in dynasty leagues, so let’s take a look at the new landscape in Philadelphia and beyond.
Rashaad Penny, RB PHI
The Seahawks stunned the NFL and dynasty communities when they took Penny late in the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft over other running backs like Nick Chubb and Sony Michel. In fact, Seattle wasn’t even rumored to be in the market for a running back since they had Chris Carson already on the roster. Regardless, Penny found himself a home in the Northwest. At least for a while.
What transpired next was nothing short of a disaster. Penny has dealt with a laundry list of injuries, including a fractured finger, a knee strain, a thigh strain, an ACL tear, another knee strain, a calf strain, a pulled hamstring, and last year’s broken leg just to put a cherry on top.
So, why would the Eagles even be interested in a player who gets hurt this often?
The answer there is pretty simple. When Penny is healthy, he’s a dominant football player. Over his 42 career games, he has averaged a robust 5.7 yards per carry and scored 13 times. Even better, he once had a stretch of games in 2021 with rushing game totals of 137, 29, 135, 170, and 190 over a five game stretch to close out the season. It was that streak that won a lot of dynasty managers championships.
Penny will join an Eagles team focused on running the football and immediately goes from an afterthought in Seattle to a very intriguing player in dynasty leagues. The Eagles are now very likely to lose Miles Sanders in free agency and for the moment, Penny looks like the big winner in terms of free agency dynasty value gained. There are a lot of moving parts here and he’ll have to contend with other running backs on the roster like Kenneth Gainwell, and the newly signed Boston Scott, but we’ve seen dominant stretches from him when he’s on the field. We’ll see what the Eagles do next, but Penny is a solid lottery ticket at his ranking of RB47. If Philly doesn’t add more runners, that ranking is going to move up.
Just remember. This is the WORST time to trade for a running back, so let the cards fall where they may before even thinking of going to get him. His value is going to be inflated with this news and he could very well have other serious competition before the season starts. Even if the Eagles fail to add anyone else to the mix, Penny’s injury history just has to be baked into his trade or draft value.
Boston Scott, RB PHI
Philadelphia was quick to re-sign Scott after adding Penny today. It’s a smart signing for the Eagles considering how fragile Penny has been. In all actuality, they probably view their situation as one where they’ll likely use Scott and Penny on early downs and Gainwell on third downs and passing situations. All of this can change, but Scott is going to continue to have value as a player who is seemingly always one injury away from a major role in any given week.
Kenneth Gainwell, RB PHI
Dynasty managers who took Gainwell two years ago have likely been left pretty disappointed. Over his two seasons in the league, he’s only bee able to post 531 rushing yards, 56 catches, 422 receiving yards, and ten total touchdowns. Still, this signing may not be a bad thing. He’s still likely locked into the passing back role and he could see more work if (or when) Penny was to go down.
Miles Sanders, RB FA
Shortly after Penny signed with the Eagles, Sanders sent out a very public goodbye to Philadelphia. This looks like the end of the road for Sanders, who should find a solid landing spot in the coming days. Stay tuned.
Kenneth Walker, RB SEA
If there was any doubt the Seahawks were sold on Walker, this might be it. Seattle is notorious for having running back competitions, so Walker is far from out of the woods. However, his rookie season was fantastic and the Seahawks didn’t seem all that interested in bringing Penny back into the fold.
2023 NFL Draft Running Backs
One of the reasons I wouldn’t be throwing out trade offers for Penny is the upcoming NFL Draft. The Eagles have pick #10, #30, and #62 among other selections. While conventional wisdom points to them using those to replenish their defense, don’t be surprised if they take a hard look at players like Bijan Robinson or Jahmyr Gibbs.