Why the Seahawks are comfortable leaning on Thomas Rawls

Every week during the offseason, we'll look at three Seattle Seahawks numbers that matter.

5: The number of running backs since the merger who have run for at least 800 yards and averaged at least 5.5 yards per carry in their rookie seasons. Franco Harris did it in 1972. He's in the Hall of Fame. Adrian Peterson reached those marks in 2007, and he's headed to Canton. Clinton Portis (2002) and Maurice Jones-Drew (2006) were both Pro Bowlers and had productive careers.

The fifth running back on that list is Thomas Rawls. There are several reasons why the Seahawks are likely to part ways with Marshawn Lynch this offseason, but near the top of the list is that there's a very good chance Rawls is just the better option at this point. He averaged 5.65 YPC in 2015, tops in the league. And Rawls fits the style the Seahawks are looking for. He averaged 2.68 yards after contact, the best mark of any running back in the past two seasons.

Rawls has to recover from his ankle injury, and the Seahawks need to make sure they have good depth at the running back position. But everything he showed as a rookie suggests Rawls has the makeup to be this team's primary ball-carrier for years to come.

21.9: The Seahawks' blitz percentage (defined here as five rushers or more) in 2016. That ranked 26th in the NFL and was the lowest percentage the defense has posted since Pete Carroll became the head coach in 2010.

There are different ways to play defense. The Seahawks' preference is to stick mostly with what has worked with them in previous seasons, and that most often involves using seven players in coverage. The most significant drop in blitz percentage came on third down, where Kris Richard blitzed just 29.7 percent of the time, compared to 39.9 percent by Dan Quinn in 2014.

The move seemed to pay off. The Seahawks limited opponents to a 34.4 percent conversion rate on third down. That was the best mark of any defense during the Carroll era and fourth-best in the NFL in 2015.

37: The number of defensive linemen who got more guaranteed money on their current contracts at the time of signing than Michael Bennett, according to OverTheCap.com. Bennett is coming off a monster year in which he had 10 sacks and 19 tackles for loss. Only three other players posted those marks in the two categories: J.J. Watt, Khalil Mack and Aaron Donald.

And the numbers don't tell the whole story. Bennett was a disruptive force on a weekly basis, often creating favorable opportunities for his teammates.

He's made it clear that he'd like his deal reworked, but Bennett didn't hold out last year, saying that his wife wouldn't let him. He is 30 years old and signed through 2017. If the Seahawks don't accommodate Bennett this offseason, will he and agent Drew Rosenhaus decide on a different strategy for getting what they want?

Along with figuring out what to do with their 17 unrestricted free agents, the Seahawks need to come up with a plan for Bennett in the months ahead.