Contract details show Penny deal is low-risk, high-reward for Eagles


Last week at his introductory press conference, running back Rashaad Penny talked about Philadelphia as a good spot for him to restart and refresh.

And maybe he can finally stay healthy this season. But the nice thing for the Eagles is that they’re not taking on much risk. The contract details really show how much of a low-risk, high-reward this deal really is.

Penny’s one-year deal with the Eagles is worth $1.35 million with just $600,000 in guaranteed money, a league source told NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Here’s how the deal breaks down:

Base salary: $1.08 million
Signing bonus: $100,000
Total guarantee: $600,000
Per-game roster bonuses: $170,000 total
Rushing yards incentives: Up to $750,000
Salary cap hit: $1.23 million

Just $500,000 of Penny’s veteran minimum base salary of $1.08 million is guaranteed in 2023. And he has a chance to earn some extra money if he stays healthy and really contributes.

In terms of average per year, Penny is now ranked 50th in the NFL among running backs, per OverTheCap. One of those running backs ahead of him is Boston Scott, who returned to the Eagles as a free agent this offseason. Scott signed a one-year, $2 million deal to stay in Philadelphia this offseason. Scott’s deal includes $1.8 million in guaranteed money, a $1.85 million in base salary and per-game roster bonuses of up to $150,000, a source said.

In addition to Penny and Scott, the Eagles also have Kenny Gainwell, who is entering the third year of his rookie contract as a fifth-round pick. His base salary in 2023 is still just $940,000.

Maybe the Eagles are not finished at the running back position, but they have created a really inexpensive running back room with those three players after letting Miles Sanders walk in free agency.

Sanders got a nice deal with the Panthers. They gave him a four-year contract worth $25 million and $13 million guaranteed. His average of $6.35 million per season ranks 12th in the NFL. It’s not a huge contract but it’s at least a little pay day for Sanders, who is coming off a 1,200-yard season and a Pro Bowl nod.

It’s not hard to see the Eagles’ strategy here. There are certain positions — looking at running back and linebacker — where they will cut corners to get by. It’s their team-building philosophy. And this offseason, up against the cap and with a huge Jalen Hurts extension likely on the way, it makes sense.

Of course, there’s a reason Penny was so cheap. The 27-year-old former first-round pick has played just 28 of 65 possible games since the beginning of the 2019 season. He’s had a ton of injuries, including a broken left tibia that ended his season last year.

But the upside is certainly there. In his career, Penny has averaged 5.7 yards per carry and that number is up to 6.2 over the last two seasons. That average of 6.2 yards per attempt is by far the highest average for a running back with at least 100 attempts in that span. The next closest players are Nick Chubb, Tony Pollard and D’Ernest Johnson at 5.3 yards per attempt.

Because of his injury history, the Eagles probably can’t really depend on Penny. But at least they didn’t sink much money into him either. And it’s the kind of deal that could make Howie Roseman look really smart down the line.

Subscribe to the Eagle Eye podcast

Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | Watch on YouTube


Contact Us