Stop me if you’re heard this one before. (Actually, you have. But I’ll keep going anyway.)
Marshawn Lynch is telling people close to him that he intends to retire, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
It’s the third straight offseason involving talk of Lynch retiring. Two years ago, Lynch reportedly had told teammates he may retire if the Seahawks win Super Bowl XLVIII (they did). Last year, former teammate Michael Robinson said repeatedly that Lynch could walk away.
Last year, Robinson laughed and said it’s a “good hypothesis” that Lynch possibly was pondering retirement in order to squeeze more money out of the Seahawks. This year, the talk of retirement comes at a time when the Seahawks undoubtedly are planning to dump Lynch’s $9 million base salary, especially since heir-to-the-‘Mode Thomas Rawls will make only $525,000 in 2016.
Which means it makes more sense for Lynch to do nothing, unless and until the Seahawks cut him. If he retires, he’ll owe the team $5 million. At a minimum, he should negotiate a retirement scenario that entails giving the Seahawks the cap savings they’d receive by cutting him without forcing him to pay back bonus money. And if the Seahawks could persuade Lynch to agree to a term that would require him to pay back the $2.5 million if he ever plays for another team, Seattle would save a little face if Lynch decides to suit up for the Raiders or someone else in 2016.
If Lynch has any desire to explore playing for another team in 2016, he should resist retiring and wait for the Seahawks to cut him. Which they inevitably will do.
The real question is whether Lynch indeed would like to play for another team. The decision could hinge on how much money a new team would offer. Ravens running back Justin Forsett, a close friend of Lynch’s, was tight-lipped on the subject during a visit to PFT Live, repeatedly “pleading the Fifth” as to Marshawn’s plans.
Which means there’s a real chance Lynch, a first-round draft pick of the Bills in 2007, will suit up in 2016 with his third NFL team.