The Seattle Seahawks adding C.J. Spiller to their crowded roster of running backs is probably his final chance to establish himself as someone who is still worthy of an NFL team’s time and money.
Spiller, a star for Clemson who was the 9th overall pick in the 2010 draft, is another former Bills running back to join the Seahawks. Marshawn Lynch is the most notable of those, helping the Seahawks establish themselves as one of the best teams in the league, and win the Super Bowl after the 2013 season. Fred Jackson, played with Spiller in Buffalo, also joined the Seahawks past his prime, but never really managed to have any effect on the team.
The Seahawks haven’t been able to establish a successful running game in the post-Lynch era. They’re only 15th in the NFL with 102 yards per game and just 3.5 per carry, scoring two rushing touchdowns through their 2-1 start. Thomas Rawls is playing injured and has just 1.3 yards per carry, while Christine Michael seems like the only back right now capable of producing something, rushing for 232 yards and 2 touchdowns on 4.5 yards a carry.
C.J. Prosise has also been dealing with an injury and has given the Seahawks nothing, while Russell Wilson, playing with an injury too, has only 33 yards on 10 running attempts, something he’d usually do in one game. Spiller, who twice topped 1000 yards from scrimmage for the Bills, is hoping not only to help out the Seahawks, but give himself a chance of carrying on with his NFL career beyond this season.
Spiller had 1703 yards from scrimmage in 2012 and 1118 in 2013, but he quickly declined due to injuries, rushing for just 300 yards in nine games in 2014. He joined the Saints before 2015 on a four-year, $18 million deal, but missed 3 games due to injuries, finishing with only 112 rushing yards, averaging 3.1 per carry. The Saints preferred to cut him at the end of the season and take the dead money than keep him on with that kind production.
Spiller is probably better at this point being a receiving target than running from the the lines and breaking tackles. The Seahawks could use another passing option for the hobbled Wilson, and maybe get something out of him from the ground game. Seattle will continue to struggle without getting more consistent production from their running backs, while Spiller knows he won’t sign another NFL contract if his time in Seattle isn’t productive.