The Seahawks have offered running back Marshawn Lynch a new, multi-year contract extension. According to Ian Rapoport, Seattle "not only wants Marshawn Lynch around next year, but they've made a significant commitment to keep him on their team, possibly, for the rest of his career." This news is something that our own Kenneth Arthur had been hearing behind the scenes as well, and is of course, a very welcome development. Lynch has not accepted the deal but it goes against a slew of reports all year that Seattle would cut ties with their star running back after this season.
The new deal is expected to be worth north of $10 million in 2015, more than double his $5 million salary number on his current deal. The Hawks believe that Lynch has outplayed his contract, and want to reward him for that. The new offer also comes as an enticement to Lynch to put off retirement, apparently an option he's considered. Lynch's new deal, if accepted, would keep him with the Seahawks long term and would provide a great deal of stability at one of the most important positions in Seattle's run-heavy offense. The Seahawks reached out to Lynch's agent Mark Hendrickson over the past several weeks because they realize Lynch is key to what they want to do and he's the heart and soul of their smashmouth identity.
More on Lynch
Running back is considered a fungible position these days but Lynch's combination of explosive power and lateral agility make him a great fit for the zone-read option and power zone looks the Seahawk favors. It's also a system based on Alex Gibbs' famous zone blocking scheme that takes total buy-in and discipline to run, so it can take a little while to acclimate to as a running back. When Lynch arrived in Seattle back in 2011 it took him about half of a season to really figure out what was what.
Since then, Beastmode has been an indispensable piece of the Seahawks' championship formula and his physical, tenacious style has come to embody the identity that Pete Carroll and John Schneider strived to create on offense. As John Schneider once said, "this is a seriously tough individual." That toughness permeates the team.
The Seahawks identity
The real value of rushing yards in the NFL
This weekend two teams that run the ball exceptionally well, the Seahawks and the Panthers, will square off for a chance to play in the NFC title game. Danny Kelly writes that it's a clear reminder of how balance and creativity are the main drivers of a successful NFL offense.
The Seahawks identity
Lynch is due to hit the last year of his contract in 2015 and rumors have swirled around Marshawn's potential future with the team since he held out of training camp in July. Lynch and the Seahawks had come to an uneasy compromise that enticed him to report to camp, but with Lynch set to be 29 with a cap hit of $8.5 million next year, it had been almost an assumption that the Seahawks would cut him as a cap casualty after the season. They'd denied this of late, of course, but these reports had created tension between Lynch's camp and the front office and nearly every Sunday you'd hear news about something or other going on below the surface with the Seahawks and Beastmode.
I suspect we won't hear whether or not Lynch accepts the deal today, Super Bowl Sunday, but it's welcome news for Seahawk fans -- Lynch is universally beloved and a huge part of the reason Seattle's in the Super Bowl for a second straight season.