The Seahawks signed running back Marshawn Lynch to a two-year extension through 2017, the team announced on Friday.

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The unavoidable question hovering over this offseason is answered: Running back Marshawn Lynch will play for the Seahawks this season.

Lynch signed a two-year extension through 2017, the team announced Friday. Lynch’s new deal is worth $24 million with $12 million guaranteed this season; that includes a $7.5 million signing bonus and $4.5 million in base salary. Lynch originally was scheduled to make $7 million this season.

Lynch, who will be 29 this season, also could make $9 million in 2016 and $10 million in 2017 under the terms of the deal, but that money isn’t guaranteed, and it’s possible that either Lynch or the Seahawks could decide to part ways after the 2015 season.

Lynch flew from Oakland to Seattle with his agent, Doug Hendrickson, on Friday to meet with the Seahawks’ brass. The two were joined by coach Pete Carroll, general manager John Schneider and owner Paul Allen, who flew back from overseas to meet with Lynch at the team’s Renton facility. The talks of a new contract had been ongoing all offseason, but the meeting is what cemented the deal.

“I think everybody wanted to get on the same page after the Super Bowl,” Hendrickson said. “No one has talked since then. It was just a meeting that everyone wanted to get together, including Marshawn, and have a conversation to move forward.

“Marshawn just really wanted to take some time after the season to focus in on what he wanted to do. That’s why we wanted to meet. It wasn’t they wanted to meet with him. It wasn’t he wanted to meet with them. It was just, ‘Let’s everyone meet and talk to move forward.’ ”

And that is what the Seahawks can do now. Even though Lynch was still under contract for the 2015 season, it was widely accepted that he wouldn’t play under the terms of that contract this year; he even talked with teammates during the 2014 season about retiring, a possibility that loomed into the offseason.

By reaching a new deal with Lynch, the Seahawks not only bring back one of their more productive players but also one of their more important.

Lynch has been called the “heart” of the Seahawks by teammates and coaches, and his physical, rugged style resonates not only with offensive players but also with the defense.

Lynch is coming off one of his better seasons. He rushed for the second-most yards of his career (1,306), averaged the second-most yards per carry (4.7), had the second-most receptions (37), scored the most touchdowns (13) and had the most receiving yards (367).

Lynch’s 2014 season, though, also was marked with off-field concerns.

Lynch held out for a week during training camp before receiving more money. During the season, reports surfaced that he was unhappy after the team traded receiver Percy Harvin midseason, that his relationship with Carroll and the front office had turned chilly and that he was contemplating retiring. It also was marked by his run-ins with the media, most notably during the week of the Super Bowl.

Lynch also didn’t get the ball from the 1-yard line on the Seahawks’ final offensive play of the Super Bowl, a move that shocked many, including his teammates. Lynch acknowledged last week on Turkish television that he was surprised he didn’t get the ball, and he hinted that the Seahawks might not have wanted him to be the “face of the nation” had he scored.

But all of that drama, for now, is in the past. Now the Seahawks and Lynch can focus on the upcoming season.

Lynch is such a valuable commodity for many of the obvious reasons: He is so physical and hard to tackle, and he can turn a 1-yard run into much more.

But there’s more to what makes him good than that. He’s a respected voice in the locker room, a guy many Seahawks describe as being the best teammate they’ve had. And the subtle ways in which he is a good running back are just as important: Lynch knows the ins and outs of Seattle’s complicated zone-blocking running scheme, and he trusts it. It sounds simple, but fullback Derrick Coleman once said few guys run with such discipline and understanding as Lynch.

He is rare, not only within the Seahawks but also in the NFL, and now he’s back.

“He’s very happy it’s over with,” Hendrickson said. “He has one goal in mind: to get back to the Super Bowl.”