Although it is difficult to put much stock in the ruminations of enigmatic running back Marshawn Lynch, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com writes that sources close to Lynch say that he is considering hanging up the spikes after this season. Of course, it is widely believed that Lynch is currently playing his last season with the Seahawks, but it would be something of a surprise if 2014 were his last season in the league.
As Rapoport notes, however, Lynch did consider retirement last year, as he reportedly told two teammates that he might call it quits if Seattle won the Super Bowl. Although the Seahawks did, in fact, bring home their first championship, Lynch returned to the team after a training camp holdout and a subsequent pay increase.
Lynch’s health is undoubtedly weighing heavily on his mind at the moment, and it will likely be what drives his ultimate decision to either stay in the league or to retire. Lynch has dealt with back pain throughout the past four seasons, and the cartilage in his spinal cord has become compressed thanks in no small part to what makes him great: his violent running style and his ability to stay on his feet amidst a barrage of tacklers. If the pain becomes too great for him to continue running that way, he may choose to retire rather than play without his trademark relentlessness.
Rapoport adds that Lynch has developed a strong relationship with Seattle offensive line coach Tom Cable, and if Cable gets another shot as a head coach in 2015–and there may be interest, as Rapoport tweets–Lynch could follow him to his new home. If that does not happen, then expect another offseason rife with stories concerning the future of one of the league’s most fascinating players.