The Seattle Seahawks could be in the market for a key veteran.
As proposed by Bleacher Report’s Maurice Moton in an article about NFL players who should be traded before the first week of free agency, the Seahawks should trade for Kansas City Chiefs running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. The former first-round draft pick was the starting running back for the Chiefs over the past three seasons before he was replaced midway through the 2022 season for rookie Isiah Pacheco.
While it’s obvious why the Chiefs and Edwards-Helaire should part ways, Moton argues the departure of Rashaad Penny — the former Seahawks starting running back signed with the Philadelphia Eagles — should push the Seahawks into acquiring the dynamic running back as a pass-catching complement to Kenneth Walker.
“The Seattle Seahawks should push to acquire Edwards-Helaire to replace Rashaad Penny, who signed with the Philadelphia Eagles in free agency,” said Moton. “The Seahawks can pair Kenneth Walker III and Edwards-Helaire in their backfield. The former would handle early-down touches while the latter carves out a pass-catching role on third down. Edwards-Helaire has hauled in 72 passes for 577 yards and six touchdowns in 33 games.”
Why the Seahawks Would Trade for Clyde Edwards-Helaire
The 5-foot-7 Edwards-Helaire is a versatile running back, but it’s clear he’s best used in a two-back platoon system, rather than as a full-time starting back. Even when he was used as the Chiefs’ “starting” running back in 2020 and 2021, he split carries in the backfield. During the 2020 season, Edwards-Helaire carried the ball 181 times before seeing his amount of carries dip to 119 attempts for the 2021 season. By comparison, Darrel Williams actually led Kansas City (144 carries) in rushing attempts during the 2021 season.
Meanwhile, there’s little question the Seahawks have their franchise running back in Walker. However, he brings little to the receiving game. Walker had just 27 receptions for 165 yards and no touchdowns last season. During his three years in college at Michigan State, Walker was even worse, posting just 19 receptions for 136 yards and one touchdown.
Further exacerbating the problem is that the Seahawks are suddenly lacking depth at running back. Outside of the loss of Penny, Seattle also lost reserve running back Travis Homer. Homer spent the past four seasons with the Seahawks and caught 16 passes for 157 yards last season while appearing in 27% of Seattle’s offensive snaps.
Seahawks Could Acquire Edwards-Helaire for Low Draft Pick
Edwards-Helaire not only lost his starting gig in Kansas City, he fell completely out of the running back rotation. The 23-year-old running back did not play during the Chiefs’ last seven regular season games or during a single game in the postseason, including their Super Bowl LVII win over the Eagles.
As Moton explains, Edwards-Helaire’s lack of playing time has led to a major decrease in value. That means the Seahawks could acquire the young running back at a bargain rate, likely a low draft pick.
“By the end of the 2022 term, Pacheco handled the lion’s share of the Chiefs’ carries and finished with a team-leading 830 rushing yards with five touchdowns,” says Moton. “In Super Bowl 57, Kansas City listed Edwards-Helaire as a healthy scratch, going with Pacheco, Jerick McKinnon and Ronald Jones at running back. Because of a sluggish running back market, Kansas City shouldn’t expect much in return for Edwards-Helaire—maybe a late-round pick.”
Considering the Seahawks’ only current backup options at running back are DeeJay Dallas and Darwin Thompson — who hasn’t played since the 2020 season — Seattle should consider making a trade for Edwards-Helaire.