Marshawn Lynch is not expected back with the Seahawks in 2015, according to multiple reports Sunday morning. Per a story by Chris Mortensen on ESPN:
The organization has grown tired of his ways, including pulling a no-show at the White House Super Bowl ceremony, his training camp holdout and his possible contribution to locker-room distractions. Marshawn Lynch doesn't expect to be with Seattle next season -- and the team feels the same way, sources say. Almost nobody -- including Lynch -- expects the running back to be on the roster in 2015, sources added.
According to NFL.com's Michael Silver, Marshawn Lynch harbors bitterness toward Pete Carroll, residual effects of his training camp holdout and organizational proclamations (by Darrell Bevell) that his workload would be reduced.
NFL.com's Ian Rapoport said on Twitter: "BeastMode is about that action in Seattle. But I'm told he's not about talking. Very little-to-no communication with Pete Carroll & others," while adding, "I would not be surprised if the Seahawks took a RB very early in the draft and essentially replace Beast Mode on their roster. What you are seeing now is the Seahawks transition to Russell Wilson as the sole leader of the locker room."
Michael Robinson, who was privy to the beginnings of Seattle's reported locker room issues, added to that thought by Rapoport, saying that he, "thinks that the team has a fool-proof plan to fix any division: Let Russell Wilson lead."
"Russell Wilson is the guy to lead this team out of the darkness," he said Sunday morning on NFL GameDay First.
Countering the chorus of reports on Lynch's impending departure, Jason La Canfora said on CBS's pre-game show that a high-ranking official with the Seahawks said there's no truth to the reports that the team plans to move on from Lynch. He said that Seattle has not made any determination about that at this point.
Bottom line - there were questions all offseason as to whether the Seahawks would retain Lynch in 2015 anyway, so this isn't exactly "news." Questions about the final year in Lynch's deal were a big part of the reason he held out, likely, and the writing has been on the wall because he'll be 29 years old and due $7 million, counting $8.5 million against the cap. That's a big number for a running back, even if he's one of the elites at the position. There are obviously varying opinions as to whether Lynch is worth paying in the final year of his deal.
Regardless, I tend to think that Seattle has not yet made a determination as to Lynch's future, but rather plan to use the final ten games this season (plus hopefully some Playoffs) to evaluate whether or not to retain him. I'm sure the team has several salary cap models mapped out based on whether he's back with the team in 2015 or not. Much depends as well on how Robert Turbin and Christine Michael develop this season.
Reports like these tend to emerge on Sunday mornings to drum up the action for the day and to create interesting storylines, so take them with a grain of salt. That being said, there is likely truth to the rumors that Lynch does not communicate with the front office and that there is tension with the coaching staff (he did flip Darrell Bevell off during a nationally televised game last season, so it wouldn't be entirely surprising).
As for the question of whether Lynch would be a target for a trade, Chris Mortensen is reporting that Lynch is not on the trade block prior to Tuesday.