TUESDAY, 7:06pm: The Seahawks are saying that Lynch has a healing ankle, which is why he hasn’t practiced yet this offseason and won’t practice this week, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com.
JUNE 13th, 11:05am: After speaking to Lynch on Thursday, NFL Media’s Jordan Babineaux says he doesn’t see the Seahawks running back retiring this year.
“He’s working on his training. He’s doing the normal things that he always does,” Babineaux said. “We actually went out last week when I was in Seattle and he and I had conversation and had a drink. The bottom line is, it is about the money. When a guy starts producing the way Marshawn has been producing, he wants to be paid.”
Babineaux’s account doesn’t come as a real surprise — I suspect the rumblings about a potential Lynch retirement are more about leverage in contract talks than anything else.
JUNE 12th, 7:09pm: Marshawn Lynch opted to skip the Seahawks’ OTAs and he’ll reportedly stay home instead of attending the club’s mandatory minicamp next week. While we’ve all assumed that he would report at some point, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network (on Twitter) hears he might not. Lynch, he says, told two teammates last year that he might retire if Seattle won the Super Bowl. Rapoport checked in with a source this week to see if he might walk away and was told “he could.”
Lynch hasn’t told the Seahawks that he’s skipping the team’s minicamp but he does reportedly want a new contract. The veteran is already the fifth-highest paid player at his position, however, and he’s only halfway through a lucrative extension. Beast Mode is set to earn a base salary of $5MM this year and $5.5MM in 2015. It’s hard to gauge how serious Lynch could be about walking away from the sport without hearing from him directly, but the threat of retiring could give him some degree of leverage with the Seahawks.
The 28-year-old is far from finished after a season in which he ran for 1,257 yards and scored a career-high 14 total touchdowns. With Lynch eating Skittles from the comfort of his couch, Seattle’s running back core will be anchored by former Texas A&M notable Christine Michael and veteran Robert Turbin during practices. Because they had one of the league’s best backs and two talented reserves, the Seahawks did not select a running back in the 2014 draft.
If Lynch does walk away from the NFL and the $10.5MM he’s owed over the next two years, he won’t be hurting for cash. Rapoport hears (on Twitter) that the veteran back has saved a good portion of his career earnings.
Luke Adams contributed to this post.