Beast Mode Returns: Seahawks reunite with RB Marshawn Lynch
The Seahawks needed someone to fill a sudden void in their smash-mouth running game, so they went straight to the source.
Marshawn Lynch is back with the team he helped lead to a Super Bowl win.
A day after the Seahawks lost both Pro Bowl alternate Chris Carson and his backup, C.J. Prosise, to season-ending injuries, Seattle has brought the man known as Beast Mode out of retirement for a massively important Week 17 game and the playoffs that will follow.
Lynch’s agent, Doug Hendrickson, shared a tweet Monday night of a contract the Seahawks had offered to Lynch, essentially confirming that the two sides had reached an agreement.
— Doug Hendrickson (@DHendrickson41) December 24, 2019
The Seahawks confirmed the signings of Lynch and Robert Turbin, who was Lynch’s backup in Seattle from 2012-14, late Tuesday morning. Carson and Prosise were placed on injured reserve at the same time.
Lynch’s contract is for the rest of this season – Sunday’s game against the 49ers and the playoffs – according to ESPN NFL reporter Adam Schefter.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll confirmed Monday morning on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Pete Carroll Show that Lynch was on his way to team headquarters to meet about a potential reunion.
While Lynch’s return may seem a bit out of the blue, he had apparently been gearing up for the opportunity. NFL.com’s Tom Pellisero reported Monday night that Lynch had been training in secret over recent weeks after a visit to Seahawks headquarters “left him with the sense” that he could be needed by the team.
Lynch, 33, last played in 2018 for the Oakland Raiders, his second year with his hometown team. Now he’ll get to rewrite history. Instead of playing the last game of his career against the Seahawks, which was previously the case, he will likely end it playing for the team he enjoyed the biggest success of his career with.
The Seahawks first acquired Lynch in a trade from the Buffalo Bills during the 2010 season, and while he didn’t exactly catch fire right away with Seattle, he did provide the most memorable play of his career that season.
Where were you when Beast Quake occurred?
— Seattle Seahawks (@Seahawks) September 21, 2018
The next year, Lynch was off to the races. He eclipsed 1,000 rushing yards for the first time in his career, and that was the first of four straight seasons in which he would do so. In the third of those seasons, Lynch helped the Seahawks win the Super Bowl. The next year he helped them get back to the championship game, where he ran for 102 yards and a touchdown on 24 carries. Of course, what everybody remembers from that game was the carry Lynch didn’t get at the 1-yard line – and we’ll just leave it at that.
Lynch’s hard-hitting running style began to catch up with him in 2015, however, and he played just seven games that year due to injury. Not long after the season was over, he hung up his cleats – literally. He shared a picture on Twitter of his cleats hanging from a powerline during the Super Bowl, signaling that he was retiring.
That was just his first retirement, however. After sitting out the 2016 season, Lynch signed with the Raiders, which was something of a love letter to his hometown after it was announced that the team planned to move to Las Vegas. He ran for 891 yards and seven touchdowns in 15 games in 2017 for Oakland, then 376 yards and three touchdowns in six games in 2018. He suffered a groin injury and was placed on injured reserve on Oct. 22, 2018, eight days after playing his last game against the Seahawks.
With this second return from retirement, Lynch has a chance to add to an already Hall of Fame-caliber career. He’s a five-time Pro Bowl selection, one-time All-Pro and a two-time NFL single-season leader in rushing touchdowns. His 10,379 career rushing yards ranks 29th all-time.
The Seahawks certainly need Lynch’s help at running back. They’re entering a crucial regular season finale against the San Francisco 49ers, a game in which the victor will win the NFC West. Seattle was also facing the prospect of playing that game down to their fourth-string running back, rookie Travis Homer, after season-ending injuries to Carson, Prosise and Rashaad Penny, who tore his ACL two weeks prior.
Lynch’s return will get plenty of spotlight. It will be in primetime as the Seahawks-49ers meeting has been flexed to the Sunday night spot.