By Brady Henderson
General manager John Schneider has erased any doubt about whether or not Marshawn Lynch will be with the Seahawks in 2012.
According to Clare Farnsworth of Seahawks.com, Schneider told reporters at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis on Thursday that the team will place the franchise tag on their free-agent running back if both sides can’t agree to a multi-year deal, meaning Lynch will be in a Seahawks uniform for at least another season.
Lynch, who turns 26 in April, is coming off the best season of his five-year career, rushing for 1,204 yards and 12 touchdowns in 15 games with the Seahawks. He made the Pro Bowl as a second alternate.
Schneider said both sides prefer a multi-year deal and have had “great discussions” since mid-December that will continue Thursday evening in Indianapolis, according to Farnsworth.
A source familiar with the negotiations told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock Huard that the team would be comfortable giving Lynch a multi-year deal that includes roughly $20 million in guaranteed money.
March 5 is the deadline for teams to apply the franchise tag, which equates to a one-year, guaranteed contract once the player signs the tender. For running backs, the franchise figure for 2012 is $7.7 million.