Sunday Roundup: Lynch, Fitzpatrick, Leary

Whether Marshawn Lynch opts to continue his football career in 2016 and whether he will play for the Seahawks if he does suit up this season are two very different questions, as Sheil Kapadia of writes. Lynch, 30, may well be having second thoughts about his decision to retire, but while Kapadia would not be surprised if Lynch chooses to return to the league, the ESPN scribe would be stunned if the Seahawks are the team to welcome him back.

Although Seattle controls Lynch’s rights through 2017, he is due $9MM in 2016, is coming off an injury-plagued season, and is at the point in his career when most running backs begin to wear down anyway. Plus, the club’s running game looked perfectly capable without Beast Mode in 2015. Theoretically, the team could trade him or negotiate a pay cut, but it is more likely that the Seahawks would simply release Lynch if he ultimately decides he is not done playing.

Now let’s take a look at some more notes from around the league:

  • Rich Cimini of and Brian Costello of The New York Post echo the common sense point that Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk made several days ago: we now know that the Jets have offered Ryan Fitzpatrick a three-year deal that includes $12MM in the first year, but until we know what the second and third years of the offer look like, we cannot say which side is being overly obstinate. Cimini “gets the sense” that it is a three-year, $24MM contract, which would mean that if Fitzpatrick plays well this season and retains his starting job, he would be significantly underpaid in 2017. Similarly, Costello believes that it is not a three-year, $36MM deal unless Fitzpatrick hits incentives, some of which are surely unrealistic.
  • Cowboys left guard Ronald Leary has made it abundantly clear that he wants to be traded, but as Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes, Leary lost almost all of his leverage when he chose to sign his restricted free agent tender last month. Now that he has signed the $2.55MM tender, Leary can be fined if he misses mandatory minicamp or training camp, so Dallas will be perfectly content to either wait for a good return from another club seeking an interior lineman, or for Leary to give in and report to the team.
  • Former Baylor wideout Jay Lee, overshadowed by teammate Corey Coleman–the Browns’ first-round selection in this year’s draft–in the Baylor offense, had a productive collegiate career in his own right, and he turned down offers from five other clubs to join the Lions as a UDFA, as Justin Rogers of writes. Lee said, “[Detroit] is a better fit for me. I had a relationship with the coaches. I got to do a private workout with them, got to come up here and visit and I just felt at home.”
  • Tim Twentyman of looks at five of the Lions‘ biggest roster competitions this summer. The competition at defensive tackle, the club’s deepest unit, could be particularly fierce.
  • Instead of hitting the open market this offseason, Steelers guard Ramon Foster and cornerback William Gay turned down the chance at a bigger payday elsewhere to remain in Pittsburgh, as Ray Fittipaldo of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette writes. Gay, who signed a two-year, $3.2MM contract with the Cardinals in 2012 after spending the first five years of his career with the Steelers, never saw the second year of that deal after Arizona’s coaching staff told him he no longer fit in their plans, and he had no interest in seeing the dark side of free agency again. Foster, meanwhile, said, “[Pittsburgh] is where it’s at. We’re chasing that ring. The chance for the Super Bowl ring is more important than those extra [millions].”
  • Ravens tight end Dennis Pitta has looked good in the team’s offseason workouts, Don Markus of The Baltimore Sun writes. Pitta, looking to make his way back from a second major hip fracture, is not showing any lingering effects of his injuries, although training camp will present an entirely different test. Pitta could face an uphill battle to make the roster, as the team recently signed veteran free agent Ben Watson and also has intriguing young talents in Crockett Gillmore and Maxx Williams on the tight end depth chart.
  • In an Insider-only piece, Field Yates of lists the biggest roster decisions that each of the league’s 32 clubs will have to make over the coming months.
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