Is Leonard Fournette the answer for the Seattle Seahawks at running back?

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Jacob Camenker
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Is Leonard Fournette the answer for the Seattle Seahawks at running back? originally appeared on NBC Sports Northwest

The Seattle Seahawks have some questions at the running back position heading into the 2021 offseason.

Their top rusher from last season, Chris Carson, is set to be a free agent and could command a contract larger than what the Seahawks are willing, or able, to pay. Carlos Hyde is also set to be a free agent and though the Seahawks should consider re-signing him, he may not be back.

The team still has the likes of Rashaad Penny, Deejay Dallas, and Travis Homer on the roster. They just re-signed Alex Collins to a minimum contract, too. That said, Collins won't be RB1 to start 2021. The Seahawks will want to add a player that has proven they can carry the load at the NFL level.

Could Leonard Fournette provide the answer there? It's certainly possible, and Mike Tagliere of Fantasy Pros projected Fournette to sign with the Seahawks. Here's what he said about Fournette's availability on the open market.

He’s someone who might have a better shot of winding up as a workhorse on a team who’s strapped for cash rather than one of the other high-priced free agents who will likely go to teams with plenty of cap space.

Mike Tagliere, Fantasy Pros

That scenario would describe Seattle's situation to a tee. So, it makes sense for the team to target a player like Fournette.

Last season, Fournette ran for a career-low 367 yards on 97 carries during the regular season. However, his six rushing TDs were the second-highest total of his career and he really came on during the Buccaneers run to the Super Bowl. He totaled 448 scrimmage yards and four total TDs in four games while averaging 4.7 yards per carry during that stretch.

If "Playoff Lenny" can show up during the regular season, the team that next signs Fournette could end up getting a steal, especially if his value is, in fact, depressed by a cash-strapped free-agent market. 

Fournette is certainly a name to keep an eye on for the Seahawks. He can provide some stability to the position, but the Seahawks will likely need to look to the Draft to identify their running back of the future.

The Seahawks, in the interim, will likely be bargain hunting at the RB spot and he is one of the few potential lower-budget options that has plenty of proven lead-back experience.