After Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch literally hung up his cleats, the Seahawks publicly lavished him with praise. Privately or publicly, the Seahawks would say nothing about whether the team would seek repayment of $5 million in signing bonus money.
The silence from both sides on the subject of possibly repayment led logically to the conclusion that he’d keep the money. After all, the three-year deal negotiated a year ago when Lynch was considering retirement for the second straight offseason came with an understanding that he’d quite possibly play only one more year. The $7.5 million signing bonus was a cap-management device in 2015, with $5 million pushed into a future year.
Now, under a headline that suggests more clarity than does the accompanying story, NFL.com reports that the Seahawks aren’t expected to seek repayment of the money.
The real question becomes whether the wink-nod understanding that Lynch will keep the $5 million hinges on him not unretiring later this year or otherwise trying to finagle his way to another city. It’s one thing for the Seahawks to let the player keep that kind of cash if he is truly done. It’s quite another for them to hand him a huge financial parting gift and he then watch him try to resurface with another team.