Earlier this month, while speaking to season ticket holders, Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell made a comment that shook Seahawks Nation. He was answering a question from a fan about how many carries backup running back Christine Michael would have, and ended up saying volumes about starter Marshawn Lynch.
“That’s a good question. We’re going to be a running back by committee. But we need to see what’s going on with Marshawn.”
That statement brought on speculation about what might be going on with Lynch.
Lynch did not attend any of the Seahawks’ OTA’s. Last season, he was one of the most used and successful backs in the league. He was sixth in the league in rushing yards, and only Philadelphia’s LeSean McCoy had more carries (314) than Lynch (301).
As a result of his success, and helping lead his team to a Super Bowl win, Lynch wants a new deal.
After the comment caused a mini-earthquake around Seattle, Bevell did back off a little bit. He later said he was just referring to the carries during OTA’s, not the season.
Lynch, for his part, has not said anything one way or another. Even those in his inner circle are not sure of what his plans are.
Lynch has a year left on his contract after this season. It doesn’t look like he’ll see that last year, however. The running back position has been devalued in today’s NFL, so at 29, Lynch is expendable. If the Seahawks cut Lynch next season, it will cost them just $1.5 million. With the younger Michael waiting in the wings, Lynch could be seeing the writing on the wall. That could be the main reason why he wants to strike now.
Should Lynch go through with his supposed threat, it would ultimately cost him about $8.5 million. That is why many think this is a bluff. If we know anything about Lynch, though, it’s that he moves to the beat of his own drum, and could very well hand the Seahawks a check.
Ian Rapoport reported last week that Lynch is looking to go from the 5th highest paid running back in the league to about the 2nd or 3rd. The raise he is seeking would be a relatively cheap $1.5 to $3 million. The Seahawks feel he is the 5th best back and is being paid accordingly. They do not appear to give in.
This story could get Seahawks fans very angry should Lynch follow through on the threat. Right after the Super Bowl win, defensive end Michael Bennett was asked about giving the team a “hometown discount” and he responded by saying that “this isn’t Costco.” That comment resulted in a lot of vitriol going Bennett’s way, but he eventually re-signed with Seattle.
Even though Bevell backed down from his original comment, his idea of running back by committee could be a sound decision.
Seattle has to be fiscally responsible. They locked up a few of their key players like Bennett and Richard Sherman, signed free agents like Cliff Avril and Kevin Williams, and they still have Russell Wilson looking for a bigger contract as his rookie deal comes to an end.
As I stated earlier, the running back position is devalued so it might not make sense to spend big bucks on a 30-year old back.