Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks agree to extension through 2017

Mar 6, 2015, 1:49 PM | Updated: 6:12 pm
Marshawn Lynch will return to the Seahawks after mulling retirement and ultimately signing an exten...
Marshawn Lynch will return to the Seahawks after mulling retirement and ultimately signing an extension. (AP)
(AP)

Running back Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks have reached an agreement on a two-year contract extension though 2017, the team has announced.

Lynch’s restructured deal will pay him $12 million for 2015 and includes an additional $24 million for the 2016 and 2017 seasons, his agent Doug Hendrickson told the Associated Press.

That $12 million figure is a significant raise from the $7 million that Lynch was scheduled to earn in 2015 on the final year of his previous deal. It would also make Lynch one of the league’s highest-paid running backs, his compensation coming in just behind that of Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter broke the news Friday afternoon that Lynch was en route to Seattle to meet with Seahawks brass – including owner Paul Allen – to formally sign the deal. That wasn’t long before the team announced the release of tight end Zach Miller, which clears about $2.4 million in salary-cap space. Seattle also waived defensive tackle Jesse Williams and offensive tackle Garrett Scott.

Lynch’s future in Seattle – and in the NFL, for that matter – had been up in the air since general manager John Schneider told 710 ESPN Seattle last month that Lynch is mulling retirement, a confirmation of rumors that had persisted dating back to last year’s Super Bowl.

Coach Pete Carroll said during the scouting combine last month that Seattle has had an offer on the table for Lynch, who is coming off of what might be the best season of his career. He rushed for 1,306 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2015, which marked his fourth straight season with at least 1,200 yards and 11 scores.

A photo Tweeted Friday by Elisa Hahn of KING 5 said it showed Lynch and his agent, Doug Hendrickson, at an Oakland airport before their flight to Seattle. According to Rapoport, Allen flew back to Seattle from overseas to meet Lynch.

The timing of Lynch’s decision
is perhaps not a coincidence. With Lynch set to return next season, the Seahawks can proceed in free agency – which begins next week – as well as the draft knowing that they don’t have to find an immediate replacement.

It also ensures that there won’t be a repeat of the drama and uncertainty that played out into the summer last year, when Lynch skipped part of the offseason schedule then held out for eight days during training camp before the team made some adjustments to his contract.

710Sports.com assistant editor Brent Stecker contributed to this report.

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