The two high-profile players whose retirement decisions weren’t known until recently are both officially on the reserve/retired list. The one who retired more than a month ago still isn’t.
Through March 8, the Seahawks haven’t made a roster move with running back Marshawn Lynch, who’ll count for $11.5 million against the 2016 salary cap as of 4:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday.
The Seahawks have the cap space to carry his contract into the 2016 league year, and there’s no trigger or other deadline that forces action via a bonus or a guaranteed payment. Still, it’s odd for a guy who retired more than four weeks ago to not yet officially be retired.
One theory floating around is that the Seahawks are willing to keep him on the roster until June 1, at which time the cap charge arising from his official retirement would be $2.5 million this year and $2.5 million in 2017. If he officially retires before June 1, the cap charge for 2016 would be $5 million.
The other option could be to cut Lynch after the start of the new league year with a post-June 1 designation, splitting the $5 million cap charge between two seasons. To get there, however, they’d still have to carry the full $11.5 million on the books until June 1.
So one question will be whether to carry an extra $6.5 million for less than three months, in order to defer $2.5 million in dead money to 2017. Another question could be whether Lynch hopes to be released so that he could return without impediment, if he decides in July or August to join a team like the Raiders.
There’s no guarantee that any answers regarding the team’s or the player’s strategies will be coming on or after 4:00 p.m. ET on Wednesday.