Note: This was going to my Crunch Time for the week but then Nelson Cruz and the Seattle Mariners had to agree on terms. Damn it … not really, congrats to the M’s.
The Seattle Seahawks have had their fair share of setbacks since the front office traded wide receiver Percy Harvin to the Jets earlier in the season. Now it looks like one of the Seahawks’ stars may be leaving the roost at the end of the year.
There is speculation that superstar running back Marshawn Lynch will leave the team at the end of the season. According to the NFL Network’s Ian Rappaport, Lynch, 28, has confided into teammates that he is contemplating hanging up his cleats and walking away from the gridiron completely.
Rappaport’s report said that Lynch has compressed cartilage in his spinal cord and has dealt with back problems. Despite health issues, Lynch has only missed one game in the last four years.
This isn’t the first time Lynch has discussed retirement. According to reports from NFL.com, “Beast Mode” confided in two teammates that he would retire if the Seahawks won the Super Bowl last year. Although Lynch returned this season, he come didn’t without incentive, as he decided to hold out during training camp. After a restructured contract that included a raise to $6.5 million, Beast Mode was back. He’s had a good season so far, having 212 carries for 956 yards and nine touchdown. As a receiver he’s had 28 receptions for 297 yards and three TDs.
Personal issues might also factor into Lynch’s decision to hang up the cleats. He was upset with Harvin being traded to the team and hasn’t spoken to Pete Carroll since Harvin was traded. According to some sources, Seattle has been looking to get rid of Lynch and have the locker room centered around quarterback Russell Wilson. There’s also Lynch’s behavior and his reluctance to speak to the media, which the NFL fined him $50,000.
There’s speculation that Tom Cable, Seahawks offensive line coordinator, may be in line for a head coaching job. If Lynch doesn’t retire, he may follow Cable to another team.
Although he’s only had five seasons on the team, Lynch has made his imprint on the team. He’s in fourth for Seahawks rushing yards with 5,580 and third in a single season with 1,590 in 2012.
But if Lynch leaves, it gives Seahawks a chance to move up Robert Turbin and Christine Michael to the starting running back position. Turbin has 645 career rushing yards, which isn’t much but if Lynch leaves, Turbin could get his spot. Every team needs a good running back and if Lynch can’t be the guy for the Seahawks, then coaches should help prepare these newer players.
According to the NFL Player’s Association, the average career span of a professional running back is 2.57 years. In 2011, commissioner Roger Goodell refuted this claim and said the average career length for a player who makes a club’s opening-day roster, whether they are active, inactive or injured reserve, in his rookie season is 6.0 years. Lynch has already gone above the average lifespan as a running back.
No doubt Seahawks fans would be upset if Lynch went away, but that’s his decision — and the team’s front office — but aside from earning a paycheck and breaking records, there isn’t much for him to do in Seattle anymore, or football for that matter. I say let him ride off into the sunset.