11:25am: ESPN’s Ed Werder tweets that there have been no negotiations on the extension as of yet, but talks are scheduled for next week.
8:46am: The Seahawks have made a “huge” extension offer to Marshawn Lynch that would likely keep him with the club for the rest of his career, writes Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Lynch remains under contract for the 2015 season, but the extension, in addition to giving Lynch long-term security, would also double his 2015 pay. The 28-year-old running back is set to make $5MM next year, but Rapoport writes that the new deal would give Lynch over $10MM in 2015 alone.
Although the enigmatic Lynch has made the news for his bizarre press conferences and certain obscene gestures, and even though he has at least considered the possibility of retirement in each of the last two seasons, his on-field production for Seattle has largely overshadowed all of that. Lynch has rushed for at least 1,200 yards in four consecutive seasons, and his 2014 campaign was perhaps the best of his career. Lynch rushed for over 1,300 yards, maintained a 4.7 yards-per-carry average, and scored 13 touchdowns. He added 37 receptions for another 367 yards and four receiving touchdowns to his dominant season.
The former Bill was traded to Seattle during the 2010 season in exchange for two mid-round draft picks, and the deal immediately paid dividends for the Seahawks. Lynch, affectionately known as “Beast Mode,” was instrumental in Seattle’s surprise upset of the defending-champion Saints in the first round of that year’s playoffs, breaking off a memorable 67-yard touchdown run that was later dubbed “Beast Quake.”
Lynch was rewarded with a four-year, $31MM contract after the 2011 season, and after a brief holdout in 2014, he agreed to a new deal that provided him with a bit more financial certainty. Per Rapoport, the team feels that Lynch has outplayed that contract, and so they have offered him a lucrative extension just hours before he takes the field in Super Bowl XLIX. Rapoport does note, however, that if the Seahawks become repeat champions tonight, Lynch could follow through on his retirement plans.
Rapoport adds (via Twitter) that, in addition to paying Lynch $10MM in 2015, the extension would be second to only Adrian Peterson in average annual value (which is over $14MM per year). We heard nearly all year that Lynch would probably not return to Seattle after 2014, but his tremendous production this year has underscored his value to the club, and the team is prepared to reward him accordingly. It would be difficult for anyone to turn down such an offer, but Lynch is not your ordinary player or person, so unless and until the ink dries on this new contract, no one will really know where Lynch will be in 2015 and beyond.