Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Marshawn Lynch is giving some thought to returning to football but said he isn't sure what would happen next and that Lynch has taken no formal steps toward coming out of retirement.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday at the NFL league meetings that running back Marshawn Lynch “is somewhat entertaining’’ the idea of coming out of retirement.
But Carroll also said that Lynch did not ask the Seahawks to be taken off the reserve/retired list when he talked to him 10 days ago and said he can’t answer if Lynch will return and what the Seahawks would do if he did ask to come back.
“I know that he is somewhat entertaining the thought of it,’’ Carroll said during the annual breakfast with NFC coaches. “I can’t tell you how strong it is.’’
Carroll later said “there is not much to it,” referring to the rumors of Lynch possibly returning. “We had a chance to visit. He was in really good spirits about 10 days ago.”
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At another point, asked if it was a possibility that Lynch could ever play for the Seahawks again, Carroll said simply “he’s retired.” And asked if the team would trade or release Lynch if he were to return, Carroll said “we’ll talk about that if the time comes.” His demeanor seemed to suggest he wasn’t thinking that time will come anytime soon.
Lynch retired following the 2015 season with two years remaining on his contract with the Seahawks. Since he was placed on the reserve/retired list, he would first have to ask the NFL to be reinstated. At that point, he would return to the Seahawks’ roster with his contract picking up where it left off.
Lynch would count $9 million against the salary cap in 2017 were he to return. Seattle would not want or be able to carry that on its salary cap and would either have to try to trade him to Oakland – the only team it is thought Lynch would want to play for — or release him, at which point he would become a free agent.
At one point, asked another question about Lynch’s future, Carroll made a joke about Lynch’s long-held reluctance to talk to the media.
“You’ve got to talk to him — and that chance ain’t happening,’’ Carroll said.
Asked if he thought Lynch could still play at a high level, Carroll said he wasn’t sure and that it would be based on how seriously Lynch would approach playing again.
“I don’t know ,’’ Carroll said. “Depends on how he has approached this off-season. He looked okay (when Carroll saw him 10 days ago). The mentality that it takes to play this game the way he plays the game, he has to really be invested and ready because he goes deep when he plays. And whether or not that is still in him and the burn is still there, I couldn’t tell that from talking to him.’’
Lynch will turn 31 next month.