2012 NFL Free Agents: Seattle Must Be Willing to Overpay for Marshawn Lynch

Micah ChenAnalyst IIIJanuary 10, 2012

SEATTLE - DECEMBER 24:  Running back Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Seattle Seahawks looks on during the game against the San Francisco 49ers at CenturyLink Field on December 24, 2011 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

This is a topic that I feel like hasn't been discussed enough.  Marshawn Lynch's stock has never been higher, and now he's a free agent.

It's surprises me that Seahawks fans aren't nervous in the slightest.  There are many teams out there that would LOVE to have a running back like Marshawn Lynch, and a lot of teams that would be willing to pay for one.

I'm sure Lynch enjoys playing in Seattle.  But this is an important year in his career.  What he decides this offseason could affect him for the rest of his life.

Running backs typically have a short shelf life.  The average life span is three or four years, and the expiration date is around 30.

Marshawn Lynch is 25, and in the prime of his career.

As anybody in his situation would do, Lynch wants to sign the biggest and longest contract possible, because it is all down hill from here on out in his career.

With that being said, if a playoff-contending team offered him a lucrative long-term deal, I'm sure, as a business man, he would be willing to accept that offer.

Then where does that leave the Seahawks?

The Seahawks draft needs aren't very big, mostly depth.  But if the Seahawks lose Marshawn Lynch, all of a sudden they need to completely revamp their offseason mindset.

Instead of picking up a pass-rusher in the first round, Seattle would likely have to draft a starting running back type of player.

Let's face it, Leon Washington and Justin Forsett can't carry the running game without a main guy taking the majority of the carries.

Marshawn Lynch is the heart and soul of the Seattle Seahawks, a guy that the Seahawks are building around, but if he leaves, you can forget about playoffs in the near future.

As fans, we hate overpaying for anybody, even a superstar.  But there are exceptions to the rule, and this is one of them.

Tarvaris Jackson can't lead a team via the pass like Drew Brees or Tom Brady can.  The Seahawks rely heavily on Marshawn Lynch for offensive production and consistency.

It is for that reason that Seattle should break the bank for Marshawn Lynch without a second thought.