Marshawn Lynch may be pondering a return to the NFL, according to a report Thursday night from Pro Football Talk.
Marshawn Lynch is “up in the air” about returning to football, according to a story published Thursday night by Pro Football Talk, with an eye on coming back around weeks four or five this season.
Lynch retired following the 2015 season, famously doing so by Tweeting a pair of cleats wrapped around a telephone line during the Super Bowl, then re-stating his decision rather emphatically during in an interview on 60 Minutes Sports on Showtime in June.
“I’m retired. Is that good enough?,” Lynch said. “Which camera do you want me to look into? This one? I’m done. I’m not playing football anymore.”
But PFT cites what it calls “a source with knowledge of the situation” that Lynch is pondering a return.
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And in that same Showtime interview, Lynch’s agent, Doug Hendrickson, left the door slightly ajar for a comeback.
“If you could write the perfect story as far as the last year of his career if he played again, come back to Oakland,” Hendrickson said. “It makes sense, right? But the reality is he told me he’s done. Selfishly, I’d love for him to play another year or two to make sure he’s cemented in the Hall of Fame.”
That a possible Lynch return is now being leaked before the next nationally televised football game didn’t escape notice.
Lynch returning, though, isn’t as simple as him just taking the cleats off the telephone line and putting them back on his feet, though.
The Seahawks placed Lynch on the reserve/retired list in May, meaning the team still holds his rights — he had two years remaining on his contract when he retired. That means the Seahawks could either bring Lynch back, trade him or release him.
The Seahawks seem set at tailback with Thomas Rawls and Christine Michael and by all indications have not been counting on a Lynch return at any point with it viewed as uncertain, at best, if they would welcome him back. A league source said Lynch has not told the Seahawks anything about returning.
A trade might be difficult given Lynch’s $11.5 million salary cap hit in 2016 — as PFT reports, the prorated amount of his $9 million salary would hit the team’s salary cap if he were reinstated to an active roster (the Seahawks have a dead cap number of $5 million for Lynch for this season to account for the bonus when he signed his contract in 2015).
If he were released before the trade deadline in week eight, then Lynch would become a free agent, clear to sign with any team (which might be why the report says he would be eying a return in weeks four or five). Or, as PFT notes, if he were to be released after the week eight trade deadline he would be subject to waivers and could be claimed by any team.
Lynch turned 30 on April 22. He is fourth on Seattle’s all-time rushing list with 6,347 yards and second in rushing touchdowns with 57.
However, he battled significant injuries for the first time in his career last season, missing seven games after having a sports hernia surgery, and finished with a career-low 417 yards on 111 carries, 3.8 yards per attempt (all of which would leave some to wonder how physically ready he would be for a return to football).
Lynch grew up in Oakland and has lived there since retiring, including opening up a clothing store in downtown that was just a couple of blocks from the hotel where the Seahawks stayed last week for a preseason game against the Raiders — Lynch met up with several Seahawks players and coaches who visited the store.
Hendrickson mentioning Oakland seemed to confirm long-held rumors that if Lynch were to play somewhere other than Seattle he would like to do so for the Raiders.
Seahawks general manager John Schneider and Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie are close friends dating to days working together in the front office of the Green Bay Packers.
The Seahawks have a bye after their fourth game, on Oct. 2 against the New York Jets before resuming action against Atlanta on Oct. 16.