Some fans still can’t get past the idea that fantasy football is not real football. So you get goofballs thinking the Seahawks need to spend a lot of money to hire a big-name running back — forgetting that the rusher has to have a line that can block for him and he has to stay healthy.
So, no, the Seahawks should not — and almost certainly will not — pursue one-time stars Adrian Peterson and Jamaal Charles. Just like they didn’t pursue DeMarco Murray last year.
The topic is relevant today because the Vikings declined to pick up Peterson’s 2017 option, and the Chiefs are cutting Charles — meaning two of the more productive backs of the last decade will now be available.
But Seattle would be stupid to pursue either.
Peterson is almost 32, coming off a contract that paid him $11 million in 2016 as he played in only three games. He’s still expected to command a fair salary — surely more than the Hawks would be interested in paying.
Charles is 30 and has played all of eight games over the past two years. He has two ACL injuries, numerous ankle ailments and at least a couple of concussions. His DOB says he’s 30, but he’s really about 35 in RB years. Why would the Hawks pay $3 million for someone like that?
Running back is a position where teams don’t have to spend big money. Yeah, the Hawks paid Marshawn Lynch well. But they acquired him from Buffalo in 2010, when he was just 24, and he rattled off four straight seasons of at least 1,200 rushing yards. More than that, he brought a mystique the team fed off — so his value went well beyond the stats.
For the first part of this decade, Lynch and Peterson were the top bellcow backs in the NFL — the most punishing, tackle-breaking runners around. Some think Peterson would bring that to the Hawks, but few backs his age have been able to maintain that standard.
Peterson’s Hall of Fame career is almost over, and Charles probably won’t play a full season again.
The Seahawks have their own, much cheaper versions of Peterson and Charles. They just need the tough-running Thomas Rawls and the explosive C.J. Prosise to stay healthy.
Seattle’s running game was among the worst in the NFL last year, due to a lack of healthy rushers (11 backs carried the ball), Russell Wilson’s injury-filled season and a JV offensive line that often failed to create running lanes.
If the Hawks want to spend money in free agency, they would be much better off spending it on an offensive tackle.
And, if they want more running backs, this draft is full of good ones — just like last year, when Seattle drafted three.
So forget the fantasy football. The Hawks don’t need to pursue a couple of overpriced, aging running backs.