Seahawks Could Land Rival’s Former Starting RB: Analyst

The Seattle Seahawks could land a familiar rival’s former starting running back.

As noted by Logan Ulrich of NFL Trade Rumors, a “top” potential landing spot for former Los Angeles Rams running back Darrell Henderson is none other than the Seahawks. Henderson was waived by the Rams on Tuesday, November 22, just two days after appearing in the team’s loss versus the New Orleans Saints.

Henderson actually served as the Rams’ starting running back this season during Cam Akers’ extended absence, starting seven of his 10 appearances. Ulrich explains how Seattle’s lack of depth behind rookie sensation Kenneth Walker III is a big reason why the Seahawks should put in a claim for Henderson.

“The Seahawks were another team I mentioned yesterday as a fit for (Melvin) Gordon, as the depth behind standout second-round RB Kenneth Walker is lacking,” says Ulrich. “Henderson doesn’t profile as someone who could step up as a workhorse back should Walker go down, as he’s pretty much always split carries in his NFL career. But he could lead a committee with help from DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer.”

Henderson Served as Rams’ Starting RB in 2022

Over the course of his four years in the NFL, Henderson has always shared the backfield with another running mate. During each of his most productive seasons (2020 and 2021) Henderson split the backfield with Akers and Sony Michel. In each of those two years, Henderson ran for over 600 yards and five touchdowns.

The 25-year-old has always been an effective runner, averaging 4.4 yards per carry over the course of his career. However, he failed to eclipse 56 rushing yards in a single game this season. Furthermore, he failed to establish himself as the clear-cut starting running back when it appeared Akers was on the way out following his trade request.

Despite leading Rams running backs in snaps in two of the three previous games, Henderson played just four snaps versus the Saints as Los Angeles heavily relied upon Akers and rookie Kyren Williams.

Why Seahawks Claiming Henderson Makes Sense

The former consensus All-American at the University of Memphis could fit well as the complementary back to Walker. Seattle is almost exclusively relying upon Walker for carries since Rashaad Penny’s season-ending injury in Week 5. DeeJay Dallas and Travis Homer have combined for just 13 carries and 57 yards since Week 5.

According to Pro Football Focus, Henderson posted an 80.4 offensive grade during the 2020 season and a 68.7 offensive grade during the 2021 season. Among all running backs with at least 100 snaps, Henderson ranked 15th during the 2020 season and 36th during the 2021 season in offensive grade.

When also factoring in Henderson’s low remaining salary — he’s owed just $436,718 for the remainder of the season — there’s little reason why Seattle shouldn’t place a claim for him. However, the Seahawks’ 6-4 record may work against them as teams with lesser records will have priority over Seattle when it comes to claiming Henderson.

With that being said, Henderson is a young back who has proven to be successful when sharing the backfield with a running mate.

Considering Seattle is lacking depth at the running back position behind Walker, signing Henderson can only aid the Seahawks’ high-powered offensive unit.

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