Former Seahawks RB Thomas Rawls visits with Kansas City Chiefs

SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 31: Running back Thomas Rawls
SEATTLE, WA - DECEMBER 31: Running back Thomas Rawls /

The Kansas City Chiefs are hosting former Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls on Friday after he was not tendered a contract by Seattle.

Former Seattle Seahawks running back Thomas Rawls was not tendered a contract by the team, which made him a free agent. The Kansas City Chiefs have apparently expressed enough interest to warrant a visit on Friday.

It wasn’t that long ago that Rawls was a rookie running sensation, a productive back somehow able to step out from the shadows of Marshawn “Beast Mode” Lynch with the Seahawks in 2015. During that year, Rawls finished the season strong with an incredible 5.6 yards/carry average on the year and 830 rushing yards to go with 4 touchdowns—all in only 7 starts.

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The next year, in the same amount of starts, Rawls only had 109 carries for 349 rushing yards and 3 touchdowns, a clear step down from the previous year. Additionally, it was clear the Seahawks coaching staff and front office weren’t sold at all on Rawls’ ability to be a feature back, as illustrated by their flirtations with several veteran backs in the next offseason, as they ultimately decided to sign Eddie Lacy.

Fast forward to the present and Rawls is now a free agent after not receiving a tender offer from the Seahawks despite the fact that he’s still just short of 25 years of age. That means that teams like the Chiefs can host Rawls to try to figure out exactly why the productivity fell off as it did.

Rawls is an interesting visit for K.C. because the fit raises some interesting questions. Rawls doesn’t have much of a history as a pass catching back, so thoughts of replacing Charcandrick West as a third down option don’t quite fit. Or maybe they do and Rawls hasn’t really been asked to shoulder that load. Maybe Spencer Ware’s recovery is not going as expected, but even then, it’s way too early to tell.

More than anything, bringing in Rawls is likely due diligence on the part of Brett Veach. It doesn’t hurt to sign a player to see what he brings in terms of competition. If he’s better or if he makes someone else better by stepping up, then it’s all worth it in the end.