If the Seattle Seahawks and Marshawn Lynch can ink a long-term contract, then Seattle essentially has their starting running back for the next 4 or 5 years barring a major setback or injury.
Finding a starting running back isn't the problem for this team. The problem is the lack of depth at the position.
Justin Forsett is a lovable little scat back who is good in passing situations but, unfortunately, isn't very productive and has shown he is very easy to take down (although we might be spoiled a bit with Lynch). Washington is a decent option when Lynch needs a breather, but at heart, he is a return specialist, and a very good one at that.
While these two can hold down the fort in the short haul, in the long run, Lynch does need a credible running back who can take some of the pressure off him.
The best way to solve this problem will likely be the 2012 NFL draft. Seattle likely won't use an early-round draft pick on a running back, it'll be more likely in the fourth, maybe third, round that we'd start hearing whispers of a running back. So let's look at the best options Seattle has.
Doug Martin is more of a balanced-type running back. Doing a little bit of everything, but still a major piece of the Boise State offense.
He averaged a solid five yards a carry to go along with 25 receptions for 229 receiving yards. At 5'9", 215 pounds, he has an inch and 20 pounds on Justin Forsett and yet is projected to run a 40 in the 4.4-4.5 range.
For a good chunk of the season, the Texas A&M product was sharing snaps with Christine Michael. But after Michael went down with an injury, Cyrus took over as the feature back.
At just 198 pounds, Cyrus Gray doesn't have the raw size to be an every-down back, but he doesn't have to be. He would slide in nicely as the No. 2 back.
Isaiah Pead is more of a third-down running back and a great option out of the backfield. Both of these traits could prove extremely valuable to Seattle. He is also an exceptional blocker.
Pead's running style isn't fit for the NFL yet, but he would be a nice pickup in the fifth round or so.
Wilson isn't sold on whether or not he wants to forgo his senior season for the NFL. If he does enter, Seattle might be willing to reach into the third round to get him.
Wilson had a very productive junior season, and was named the ACC player of the year. In the long run, he has the potential to be an every-down type of running back. His running style is similar to Lynch's, running hard and fighting for the extra yards.
If you can't get Jake Locker, you might as well get the next best thing if you're a fan of Washington sports.
Chris Polk is one of the Huskies' most popular players, and is also a top-5 type of running back heading into the draft. It really depends on how much Seattle wants to reach.
As a fan of Washington sports, it'd be a lot of fun to see Marshawn Lynch and Chris Polk as a 1-2 punch at the pro level.
This might be all be wishful thinking, but if all the Seahawks need is depth at this point, they might be able to snag Polk in the second round.
If the Seahawks can bring in another quarterback to compete with Tarvaris Jackson, then really, all their draft needs is a pass-rusher and depth.
This is a good situation to be in, and if they pick up a pass-rusher early, it's more than likely that they will pick up a running back to compete with Washington and Forsett for the No. 2 role.
If they pick up a solid running back this year, then they'll be sitting pretty at tailback for years to come.