The Seahawks released running back Chris Carson on Tuesday with a failed physical designation and is expected to retire with a lingering neck injury at the age of 27.
The NFL Network initially reported that Carson is expected to retire, but that he “won’t make a retirement statement, just in case his neck improves significantly.” As the NFL Network reported, failing the physical designation will allow Carson to receive “several million” in injury protection benefits.
Carson had one year left on a contract he signed in March 2021 that was to pay him an unsecured salary of $4.5 million this year. This contract included $5.5 million in guaranteed money.
Carson didn’t play after Game 4 of last season due to a neck problem that coach Pete Carroll said at the time was something Carson had been dealing with for some time and got worse. fired up after playing a half against the 49ers on Oct. 3.
“He’s got an old injury that you can see (in exams),” Carroll said in October. “It’s a bit, I don’t know if it’s chronic, but it pops up from time to time. This hasn’t been a problem in the past. He wasn’t hit, and that’s how he got hurt. It’s a condition he probably got from weightlifting and everything he’s done over the years. It could have been something a long time ago. It just flared up, so we’re being very careful with it. He was too uncomfortable to play.
He then underwent cervical fusion surgery in December. The team had hoped he would be allowed to participate in the offseason program and minicamp. But he was unable to pass a medical at that time, and Carroll spoke ominously at that time about Carson’s future.
“Our guys love this game that they’re growing up playing, and when they feel like there might be an end, it’s tough. It’s tough and it’s real,” Carroll said. “And we going to love her through this and help her as much as we can if that’s the case, like we do with everyone at the end. It’s inevitable. It happens, but it’s always too early, so we try to fight against it.
carson said Heavy.com in June, he hoped to continue playing, saying, “Oh, we’re still going on right now. I see myself playing until I want to stop. My mindset is to never give up. So I stay positive like I said, and I keep fighting and getting back on the pitch.
But for now, it appears Carson’s career is over, with Carroll saying in June that the two had spoken of the possibility.
“We’ve had a really good chance to hang out with him and feel that, and he’s worried because he wants to play,” Carroll said. “He loves the game, and he’s a hard worker, you know. He wants to work and push and all that, (but) there are things he was still a bit limited to do. So he wasn’t quite ready to do it all at the time, and it’s just hard for him.
Carson came to Seattle as a 2017 seventh-round draft pick from Oklahoma State and became one of the team’s top late-round picks in recent years, immediately landing a role as incumbent. But he suffered a leg injury four games into his rookie season and missed the rest of the year.
He played in 41 of a possible 48 games over the next three seasons, rushing for a career-high 1,230 yards in 2019 — the most single-season total for a Seahawk since Marshawn Lynch in 2014.
He is eighth on Seattle’s all-time rushing yards list with 3,502 yards and sixth in rushing touchdowns with 24. According to Pro Football Reference, Carson has the sixth-highest weighted career approximate value rating of 75 players. in NFL history to be ranked 249th. globally.
Seattle anticipated that Carson might not be able to play this season by drafting Michigan State’s Ken Walker III in the second round in April. Seattle also re-signed Rashaad Penny to a one-year deal in March, and Penny and Walker now become the team’s running back duo heading into 2022 with Tuesday’s Carson news.
“He’s been one of my favorite Seahawks,” Carroll said in June. “I loved what he represented and what he brought, and we would love to see him again. He’s a very special player and a very special competitor. We’ll be crossing our fingers. … We’re all shooting for him .
Some of Carson’s teammates took to social media after the news broke to pay their respects. simply penny posted a picture of himself with Carson while fellow running back Travis Homer posted a clip of a Carson TD run with the words “dog mentality”.
This story will be updated.