Seahawks General Manager John Schneider talked to Brock and Salk on 710 ESPN this morning and had some interesting things to say, particularly regarding the future of Seattle's superstar running back Marshawn Lynch.
"Regarding Marshawn, obviously we think he's a hell of a player," Schneider said. "We want to have him back. He knows that. His representatives know that. He knows that if he's back, he's not going to be playing at the same number he's scheduled to make." (NOTE: Salk clarified with Schneider after the interview -- he said Lynch knew he would play at a different number from last year, and he meant more, not less, money).
I take this to mean that if Lynch decides not to retire -- something that is still up in the air and probably will be for a while -- the Seahawks want to work out a contract extension with him that rewards him for his play and keeps him in Seattle for a longer period of time. They do not want Lynch on the final year of his deal with all the distractions that go along with that.
"He's a guy who's a heartbeat guy who we'd love to have back," Schneider continued. "Whether or not he wants to play next year, I can't answer that. I don't know if he knows at this juncture."
"It's hard for these guys. It's been a long season. We've played a lot of football in these last two years, and especially the way this guy runs the ball, it's taxing on his body," Schneider added. "And so he has to re-set himself and get in that mind frame of, ‘OK, I'm ready to get moving here again and get prepared for another season of this.' Obviously we'd like to have that decision as quickly as he could, so we could move forward."
If Lynch is going to retire (I don't think he will), the Seahawks should like to know as soon as possible so they can plan their free agency spending and Draft around that. If they'll have his cap space to work with, and be relying on a different set of tools in the run game, they need to know.
As for the tension between Lynch and the front office, Schneider addressed last year's holdout and gave the reason for why Lynch wasn't given an extension at that time.
"With last year, he was in the middle of a four-year contract with two years. That was just all about precedent," Schneider explained. "It wasn't about whether or not we thought he was the No. 1 back. If we re-did a contract for Marshawn (half-way through his deal), everybody would be standing outside my office looking for a new contract whenever they wanted in their deals.
"And so he knows that, but he also knows that he's a huge part of what we're doing. So, he's just extremely important to what we have going on here and moving forward, the decisions that we make throughout this offseason."
We shall see.