Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson intends to retire after five NFL seasons due to a neck injury, a source affirmed to ESPN.
The team released Carson with a failed physical designation on Tuesday.
“Ever since the first time I saw Chris on film, I loved his style, and I was thrilled when we were able to get him when we did,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said in a statement Tuesday. “To see him grow and become such an impacting part of our program with such a great style and all of that, it was a thrill to watch. We’ll miss him and everything he brought to our program.”
Seahawks general manager John Schneider added: “He’s been an incredible pro, a guy who brings an amazing energy about him. His running style is what we’ve always wanted here in Seattle. He’s the type of runner that the whole team feeds off of. The type of player defensive players get off the bench to watch him run –they can feel his energy. He’s the type of runner whose style affects the whole team, not just the offense.
“It’s a big disappointment. We took it as long as we possibly could with him, he saw a number of specialists, but unfortunately he wasn’t able to pass our physical.”
Carson’s retirement is a disaster for Seattle’s backfield yet not an amazing result given the uncertainty with his football future. Numerous Seahawks sources feel somewhat wary as of late that he’d be medically cleared in the wake of having what Carroll portrayed as fusion surgery in December.
The team has been planning to continue without him, re-signing Rashaad Penny in March prior to drafting Kenneth Walker III in the second round of April’s draft.
NFL Network originally revealed Carson’s plans to retire.
Carson showed up in the initial four games of last season and couldn’t return as a result of his neck injury. Carroll said last month that Carson actually didn’t have full range of movement and had at this point to be medically cleared. He said Carson was “concerned” about his playing future.
Carson, 27, rose from a seventh-round pick of Oklahoma State in 2017 to one of the league’s most physical runners when healthy. He started every one of the five of his NFL seasons as Seattle’s starter, beating out free agent signing Eddie Lacy as a rookie and afterward Penny, Seattle’s first-round pick the next year. He bested 1,100 yards in 2018 (14 games) and 2019 (15 games), the two best seasons of what has in any case been an injury-marred career. In doing as such, he became the Seahawks’ first back since Marshawn Lynch in 2013-14 to post consecutive seasons with no less than 1,000 rushing yards.
For his career, Carson has scrambled for 3,502 yards and 24 touchdowns on 769 attempts (4.6-yard average) in 49 games. Spotrac.com lists him with $9.5 million in gross on-field earnings to this point.
Penny, who led the NFL in rushing over the last five weeks of last season, is in line to be Seattle’s essential pursuing back returning on a one-year, $5.75 million agreement. He’s missed 30 of a potential 69 career games (including playoffs) because of injury. That, joined with Carson’s uncertain future, was the reason the Seahawks supported their backfield by drafting Walker 41st overall.
Notwithstanding Carson, the Seahawks likewise deferred linebacker Ben Burr-Kirven with a failed physical designation on Tuesday. They put four players on the physically unfit to perform list to start training camp: cornerback Tre Brown, inside linebacker Jon Rhattigan, outside linebacker Tyreke Smith and offensive tackle Liam Ryan.
The Seahawks signed their three leftover unsigned draft picks: Walker, outside linebacker Boye Mafe and cornerback Coby Bryant. Their nine-member draft class is currently under agreement.