49ers should sign injury-riddled former Seahawk as a reclamation project

The 49ers can try to rehabilitate the career of a former Seahawk.

San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks
San Francisco 49ers v Seattle Seahawks / Steph Chambers/GettyImages

The San Francisco 49ers seem to pretty set at running back right now. However, they will probably add at least one more running back before training camp later this year.

That is why they should sign the injury-riddled former Seattle Seahawks running back Rashaad Penny.

49ers should sign former Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny

As of right now, the Niners have three running backs. They have their star, Christian McCaffrey, the solid Elijah Mitchell (who has had his own injury problems), and Jordan Mason who showed promise last season.

The Niners probably feel pretty good about their running back situation, but they should add in this department.

They were fortunate that McCaffrey was able to start every game last season, but they cannot count on that again. They should also make an effort to lighten some of McCaffrey's workload as there were times last season when he was in games that were already decided or seemed to not get a break many times during a game.

McCaffrey is one of the most gifted offensive players in football, but he is vital to San Francisco's success. The 49ers need more reliable options so that they have answers in case he misses time due to injury.

It may seem counterintuitive for the Niners to sign someone like Penny who has a lengthy injury history, but it could make sense. Most of Penny's injuries have occurred when he was either the starting running back or was heavily featured in the rushing attack.

If the 49ers sign the former San Diego State product, he would be playing in a much more limited capacity, which should allow him to stay healthier since he will really only be giving McCaffrey or Mitchell a breather.

Plus, when Penny has been healthy enough to be on the field, he has shown that he has a lot of potential. His best season was 2021 which saw him rush for 749 yards on 119 attempts for an average of 6.3 yards per carry. He did that in only 10 games as well.

The 49ers would not need Penny to touch the ball 20 times a game. They would at most need him to touch the ball five times a game just for a series or two to give McCaffrey and Mitchell a break. Or he could come in during a blowout to prevent injuries to the starters.

It would certainly be a risk to sign Penny, but not a costly one. The Eagles signed him for $1.35 million last offseason.

If the 49ers can get him for a similar cost they could be getting a valuable depth piece who could, along with Mitchell, help take some of the load off of McCaffrey in the backfield.

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