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Report: Seahawks’ Lynch considered retiring after Super Bowl

Report: Seahawks’ Lynch considered retiring after Super Bowl
Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch knees on the field before NFL football practice, Thursday, Jan. 23, 2014, in Renton, Wash. The Seahawks will play the Denver Broncos Feb. 2, 2014 in the Super Bowl. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
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SEATTLE - Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch, who will reportedly miss next week’s mandatory minicamp, told teammates during the 2013 season that he would consider retiring if the Hawks won Super Bowl XLVIII, according to a report.

As we all know, they did win the Lombardi Trophy.

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that Lynch, 28, told two teammates during last season that he would seriously contemplate retiring after seven years in the NFL, including four Pro Bowl and one first-team All-Pro seasons. An anonymous source close to Lynch told Rapoport that retirement wouldn’t be a huge surprise.

“He could,” the source told Rapoport. “I could see him walking away.”

This latest news could, however, be a thinly veiled negotiating tactic as Lynch reportedly jockeys for more money this offseason. While he is expected to miss Seahawks minicamp next week, to this point he didn’t seem to have much leverage in talks with his team.

News broke Wednesday that Lynch may be holding out for a restructured contract after functioning as the lynchpin of Seattle’s offense for the better part of four seasons, including 2013's run to the Super Bowl championship. In the last three seasons, he’s led the NFL with 1,002 regular-season and playoff carries, totaling 4,517 rushing yards and 41 touchdowns, and earning his place among the highest-paid running backs in the NFL.

Lynch will be entering the third year of a four-year contract he signed with the team in March 2012, earning a base salary of $5 million and bonuses that could bring the total to $7 million. In 2015, he’s set to earn $5.5 million in base salary and up to $3.5 million in additional roster bonuses for a $9 million hit against the salary cap, leading some to believe he would need to restructure his deal in order to remain with the team past this coming season.

According to the most recent collective bargaining agreement between the NFL and the players’ union, “Beast Mode” could be fined up to $69,455 if he misses all three days of next week’s minicamp.

On Thursday after the last day of OTA practices, the Seahawks did not address Lynch’s potential absence from minicamp. But center Max Unger told reporters that he is not worried.

“He has his own things going on,” Unger said of Lynch, as reported by ESPN. “We’d love to have him, but by no means would it change my view of him. Not at all. The guy has more than proven himself and shown he’s capable of coming to training camp in shape. As long as he does his thing on Sunday I’ve got no problems with him at all.”

Rapoport also noted Thursday, citing anonymous sources close to the Seahawks, that the team is wary of Lynch’s unpredictability. Here’s more from NFL.com:

Team sources have explained to Rapoport that they have added (Christine) Michael and (Robert) Turbin in the draft over the past few years because Lynch’s actions are so unpredictable. As much as the team’s brass loves and appreciates Lynch, they don’t want to be left holding the bag if plans go awry.

It’s not unusual for stories of this nature to pop up in June. The Ravens seemingly dealt with it on an annual basis with Ed Reed.

Seahawks fans have no reason to panic unless Lynch is still giving off mixed signals come September.


Lynch is responsible for some of the most memorable plays of recent Seahawks history, including his 67-yard “Beast Quake” touchdown run against the New Orleans Saints in a wild-card playoff game in 2011 that caused enough crowd noise at CenturyLink Field to register seismic activity nearby.

He is known equally for his physical running style and his aversion to the spotlight, incurring a $50,000 fine from the NFL for failing to speak with the press in designated sessions throughout the 2013 season. The fine was later rescinded after Lynch agreed to meet all media requirements through the team’s Super Bowl run.

Seattlepi.com sports reporter Stephen Cohen contributed to this report.
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Turbin getting look at fullback for Seahawks Turbin getting look at fullback for Seahawks