Seahawks Rumors: Chris Carson, Shaquill Griffin Won't Receive Franchise Tag

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistMarch 9, 2021

Seattle Seahawks running back Chris Carson in action against the Los Angeles Rams during an NFL wild-card playoff football game, Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Ted S. Warren/Associated Press

The Seattle Seahawks reportedly won't use the franchise tag on either running back Chris Carson or cornerback Shaquill Griffin ahead of Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET deadline.

According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Seahawks informed Carson of his impending free agency, while Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported Griffin will hit the open market, where Seattle will "work to retain him."

Carson and Griffin will be among the most sought-after players at their respective positions. Carson rushed for 681 yards and five touchdowns in 12 games in 2020. He also made 37 receptions for 287 yards and four scores, remaining effective but again struggling with injuries. The four-year veteran has never played 16 games in a season and has been a fixture on the injury list.

For his career, Carson has rushed for 3,270 yards and 21 touchdowns, averaging no less than 4.2 yards per carry in a season. He also has 101 catches for 775 yards and seven scores. Pro Football Focus gave Carson a 78.1 grade in 2020, and he's posted a grade of at least 73.1 in every season.

The free-agent market hasn't been kind to running backs in recent years, but Carson shouldn't lack for suitors on a short-term deal where he'll likely open 2021 as a starter.

Griffin has been solid during his four seasons in Seattle, making the Pro Bowl in 2019 before crashing back to earth last season. PFF gave Griffin a grade of 64.1 in 2020 after a 77.0 mark the previous season.

"I would love to be back in Seattle, but I know there's a business aspect behind it," Griffin said last week on Good Morning Football (h/t NBC Sports Northwest). "But that organization knows I love it over there—the fans and the coaches know how much I love Seattle. But at the end of the day, I know it's strictly business."

Griffin profiles more as a second cornerback than someone at the top of the depth chart, but he's a solid athlete who can keep up with nearly any wideout on the edge. Leaving Seattle could test his skills, given the Seahawks' penchant for developing stars in the secondary.