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Rashaad Penny plans to sign with Panthers, join crowded running back room in Carolina

The Carolina Panthers are adding a ninth running back to the equation.

Carolina is expected to sign veteran free agent Rashaad Penny, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Monday, per a source informed of the situation.

ESPN first reported the news.

Penny reunites with Panthers head coach Dave Canales. The two were together in Seattle for the first five years of the running back's career.

The former first-round pick spent the 2023 season in Philadelphia but saw very little action in the regular season. Entering training camp battling D’Andre Swift and Kenneth Gainwell, Penny didn't stand out during the preseason action and was left as the odd man out of the rotation once the season started. Penny played in just three games and earned 11 carries for 33 yards -- six of those attempts coming in a Week 18 blowout loss to New York.

During his days in Seattle, Penny was a steamrolling force with a size and speed combo to churn out chuck gains. In five seasons with the Seahawks, he averaged 5.7 yards per carry. However, injuries were always a bugaboo. He never played a full season in his career and ended the 2022 season with a broken fibula.

The injuries could have sideswiped Penny's career. Canales saw Penny close up in Seattle and perhaps hopes that, after another year of being removed from his latest leg injury, the 28-year-old might recapture his old form.

The Panthers are filled to the brim at running back. Second-round pick Jonathon Brooks figures to get a shot at the lead-back role but is coming off a torn ACL. Chuba Hubbard led the Panthers with 902 rushing yards last season. Miles Sanders was last year's big-money addition. Other options include Raheem Blackshear, Mike Boone, Spencer Brown and former Pro Bowler Tarik Cohen. Carolina also inked undrafted rookie free agent Jaden Shirden to round out the running back room.

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