Marshawn Lynch visited Seahawks headquarters Thursday and wants to come out of retirement, 710 ESPN Seattle’s Gee Scott has confirmed, though it is unlikely any return would be for Seattle.
News of Lynch’s visit was first reported by Bleacher Report’s Jordan Schultz, who stated that Lynch wants to play for his hometown Oakland Raiders. The Seahawks would need to trade Lynch or release him for him to play for another team. The Seahawks signed running back Eddie Lacy, a similar runner to Lynch, earlier this week, adding him to a backfield that also includes Thomas Rawls, C.J. Prosise and Alex Collins.
Scott said Lynch, who will turn 31 next month, has been working out recently with his cousin Josh Johnson, a quarterback with the New York Giants.
The Seahawks still have Lynch’s rights as he was under contract for two more years with Seattle when he retired. Under that contract, he would be set to earn $9 million in 2017 and then have a base salary of $7 million with a potential $3 million roster bonus in 2018, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter.
Lynch called it a career after nine NFL seasons following the 2015 campaign. A five-time Pro Bowler and one-time first-team All-Pro, he played 5 1/2 seasons for the Seahawks after being acquired from the Buffalo Bills. He helped Seattle turn the corner to become a perennial title contender, including a Super Bowl XLVIII win. He rushed for 9,112 yards, which ranks 36th all-time among NFL rushers, and 74 touchdowns, tied for 24th.
Lynch’s last season was plagued by a core injury, as he played just nine games in the regular season and one in the playoffs. He had missed just one game total in the four previous seasons combined.
Seattle’s run game struggled in its first year without Lynch, which former Seahawks running backs coach Sherman Smith attributed to the team missing a defining runner like Lynch. The signing of Lacy, however, was apparently a reaction to that void, as Pete Carroll hinted at earlier this week while talking to 710 ESPN Seattle’s John Clayton.
It has long been rumored that Lynch would like to play for the Raiders, as he grew up in Oakland and went to college at Cal in nearby California.
Lynch has made it clear in the past that he’s retired. During an interview with 60 Minutes Sports, he said, “I’m retired. Is that good enough?” he said when asked if he was really retired. “I’m done. I’m not playing football anymore.”
Kipp Robertson contributed to this story.