Undrafted rookie Thomas Rawls answered the bell when Marshawn Lynch couldn’t, rushing for 209 yards on 30 carries, adding 46 yards receiving, and scoring two touchdowns in a win over the 49ers.
The performance from Rawls, who transferred from Michigan to Central Michigan and was known as “Beast Mode” in college, makes Marshawn expendable, especially at his enormous base salary for 2016.
Lynch is due to earn $9 million near year. Rawls, in contrast, will make $525,000 — and by rule the Seahawks can’t extend the contract until after 2016, at the earliest.
Even if Lynch were an easy guy to get along with who didn’t hold grudges or make goofy allegations on Turkish TV about play-calling at the end of the Super Bowl, the numbers make this one on a no-brainer. Rawls is in, Lynch is out, and the Seahawks will have roughly $8.5 million to spend on other guys who wouldn’t be as easily replaced.