During an interview with ESPN Radio 710 (via NFL on ESPN), Seahawks general manager John Schneider said he's "under the impression" Lynch could retire. NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reported he's heard the same thing about Seattle's superstar.
Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman added "NFL GMs and team officials around the sport are, shall we say, dubious [Lynch] will really retire. I'm not saying he will or won't."
Lynch has teased retirement in the past. Former Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson told ESPN Radio 710 (via Terry Blount of ESPN.com) in February 2015 after the team's Super Bowl loss against the New England Patriots that Lynch didn't seem sure about continuing his NFL career: "I don't think Marshawn knows yet. I don't know what the timeline is. It's probably going to be a feel thing, and we'll just see like everybody else."
Whether Lynch was serious at that time or not, he eventually signed a contract extension in March that would keep him with the Seahawks through 2017. It seemed like a wise investment, as he had at least 1,200 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns in each of his first four seasons with Seattle.
Unfortunately, Lynch was unable to perform up to his usual standards in 2015. He missed 10 of Seattle's 18 games (including the playoffs) due to problems with his hamstring and calf early in the season and sports hernia surgery late in the year.
The 29-year-old had a career-low 417 rushing yards in 2015, and his 3.8 yards per carry was his lowest output since 2010.
Being an NFL running back does not usually come with a long shelf life. Lynch has been a workhorse during Seattle's rise to NFL prominence, averaging over 295 carries per season from 2011 to 2014, and that seems to be taking a mental and physical toll on him.
However, since retirement is something Lynch has at least thought of in the past, it's best not to overreact before he makes an official announcement about what his future entails.
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