Two months ago, retired running back Marshawn Lynch was “up in the air” about a return. On the same day that former teammate Percy Harvin unretired, Lynch was back in the Seahawks locker room.
Lynch has yet to say anything to suggest a possible return. But as Gregg Bell of the Tacoma News Tribune notes, Lynch wore Seahawks gear from head to toe — something he rarely did when actually playing for the Seahawks, opting for Cal or Beast Mode apparel.
Bell asked Lynch how he’s been, and Lynch replied with one word: “Smooth.”
“That’s more than he said one on one to me in five years he played for the team,” Bell wrote.
If Lynch, who apparently was in town for the launch of former teammate Ricardo Lockette’s charity, decides to return, the Seahawks will have to decide whether to bring him back at a prorated $9 million salary (which works out to more than $529,000 per week). Given the struggles of the offense, plenty of Seahawks fans would regard Lynch as the answer — even if he likely isn’t.
A year ago, the passing game reached new heights after Lynch’s exited for core muscle surgery. This year, a cocktail of injuries to Russell Wilson and an offensive line more porous than usual is what’s kept the offense from thriving.
One thing is clear, given the expiration of the trading period: If Lynch returns, the Seahawks can’t deal him to another team. They’d either have to bring him back or cut him loose. If he’s released, he’d have to pass through waivers. That would allow a team like, say, the Chargers to block Lynch’s ability to land with a team like, say, the Raiders.
That’s precisely what happened in 2002, when Deion Sanders was released from the reserve/retired list by Washington in the hopes of climbing onto Oakland’s most recent Super Bowl bandwagon, only to have the Chargers claim his contract and short-circuit Sanders’ return.
The target for a potential Lynch return was Week Four or Week Five. The fact that he didn’t return then suggests he won’t now. But the only thing that can be accurately predicted about Lynch is that he’s unpredictable.