The Seahawks removed Marshawn Lynch from their 90-man roster three weeks ago when they placed the running back on the reserve/retired list, but the 30-year-old still hasn’t officially walked away from football. Now, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link), some close to Lynch have conflicting beliefs as to whether he actually is planning to retire.
Lynch told a pair of ex-teammates that he intends to play this year, per Cole, which comes on the heels of Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman‘s recent reluctance to put the rusher’s NFL tenure in the rear-view mirror.
On the notion of Lynch returning in 2016, Sherman said, “I don’t put anything past him. He’s about as predictable as a pair of dice. So I don’t try to call his plays.”
Meanwhile, Doug Hendrickson – Lynch’s agent – doesn’t expect his client to take the field this season, but Cole reports “there’s a guessing game going on” and adds that the four-time Pro Bowler is far from a sure bet to remain a Seahawk if he elects against retirement. The Seahawks may be ready to move on from Lynch because of his 2016 cap charge and the injury issues he dealt with last season, relays Cole.
Seattle would rack up significant savings if it were to move on from a non-retired Lynch this summer, recouping $9MM in breathing room, and the club’s ground game was elite even without him last season.
While Lynch battled hamstring and abdominal injuries that limited him to seven games and career worsts in rushing attempts (111), yards (417) and touchdowns (three), Thomas Rawls burst on the scene as an undrafted rookie and averaged 5.6 yards per carry on 147 tries. Rawls also wasn’t the picture of health last year, however, as he suffered a season-ending ankle injury in December that required surgery. The 22-year-old should be good to go for the upcoming season, though, and the Seahawks invested heavily behind him when they selected fellow backs C.J. Prosise (third round), Alex Collins (fifth round) and Zac Brooks (seventh round) in the draft. The club also has veteran Christine Michael on its depth chart, so even if Lynch does go back on his initial instinct to retire, it does appear that his days in a Seahawks uniform are over.
Originally acquired from Buffalo in 2010 for pennies on the dollar (two late-round draft picks), Lynch was the driving force behind Seattle’s offense for most of his five-plus-year career there. In each of his four 16-game seasons as a Seahawk, Lynch finished with at least 280 carries, 1,200 yards and 11 rushing touchdowns. He also made a pair of Super Bowl trips, one of which ended in victory.
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