Marshawn Lynch tells ESPN he and Seahawks have talked potential return
Marshawn Lynch has twice retired and unretired from the NFL, but the Seahawks legend is more the latter than the former right now.
That was made clear Monday night when an interview with the 34-year-old free agent aired on ESPN, and he said his agent, Doug Hendrickson, and the Seahawks have discussed Lynch possibly returning to the team for the 2020 season.
“My agent has been in talks with Seattle, so like I said, we’ll see what happens,” the veteran running back said to ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt. “If it works out and I get back up there, it is what it is. And if not… I’m lookin’ good. So I ain’t really trippin’ too much.”
Perhaps the most telling quote from Lynch’s interview is how he initially answered the question about his status with the Seahawks.
“Well, it’s almost on that ‘expect the unexpected,'” he said.
Anybody who has followed Lynch’s career closely knows that ‘unexpected’ is usually a good way to describe whatever his latest move at the time is. For example, he had an acting role as the character Giggles in three episodes of season three of HBO’s “Westworld,” which concluded Sunday. Not exactly what you would call ‘expected.’
Lynch’s most recent move on the football field occurred last December when he came out of retirement to rejoin the Seahawks ahead of their Week 17 game against San Francisco, giving Seattle some much-needed help in the backfield after it lost both starter Chris Carson and No. 2 tailback Rashaad Penny to season-ending injuries. He rushed for 34 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries in that 26-21 loss to the 49ers, then had 33 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries in two playoff games, plus two receptions for 25 yards.
Before that return, Lynch had not played since October 2018, a game in which he suffered a season-ending groin injury playing for his hometown Oakland Raiders coincidentally against Seattle. When he returned to the Seahawks, he had been on a 14-month layoff from NFL play.
Lynch initially retired following his 2015 season with Seattle, memorably making his announcement during Super Bowl 50 with a cryptic Twitter post featuring a picture of his cleats hanging from power lines and an emoji of a peace sign. He sat out the entire 2016 campaign but the proud Oakland native returned in 2017 to play for the Raiders after it became official that the franchise would relocate to Las Vegas in 2020.
Nicknamed “Beast Mode” for his physical running style, Lynch has put together a Hall of Fame-worthy career, making five Pro Bowls and one All-Pro team, winning a Super Bowl and appearing in another, and twice leading the league in rushing touchdowns. After spending his first three-plus pro seasons with Buffalo, he was traded to Seattle during the 2010 season and almost immediately endeared himself to fans with his earthquake-producing touchdown run in a home playoff win against the New Orleans Saints. He enjoyed Pro Bowl campaigns with the Seahawks in each of the next four years, all seasons in which he rushed for 1,200 yards or more.
Lynch has played in 12 NFL seasons, including seven with Seattle.
Should the Seahawks bring Lynch back in 2020, there is certainly a question to answer about what his role would be. Seattle just drafted a running back, DeeJay Dallas, who fits the mold Lynch helped establish for ball carriers on Pete Carroll’s team and seemingly filled the need for depth that Lynch otherwise could have filled. There’s also the possibility of Lynch moving to more of a fullback role, which is something he appeared to be suited for during his three games back with the Seahawks last season.