Hours after ESPN's Adam Schefter reported Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch "told people close to him he plans to retire," Beast Mode posted a message on Twitter on Sunday indicating he'll announce his retirement.
During the Broncos' 24-10 Super Bowl 50 victory over the Carolina Panthers, Lynch tweeted out a picture of green cleats draped over electrical wires, symbolizing that he's thinking of hanging 'em up:
Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman, linebacker Bruce Irvin and quarterback Russell Wilson all tweeted out congratulatory messages to Lynch that seemed to confirm the running back is heading for retirement:
Salute to my guy @MoneyLynch ... It was an honor sharing the field with you.— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) February 8, 2016
The Seahawks' official Twitter account extended a hearty "thank you" to Lynch:
Marshawn's mother, Delisa Lynch, also took time to post a heartfelt message:
When one door closes God opens another one even better thank you Jesus!!!!! pic.twitter.com/QwB7CYUorT— Delisa Lynch (@MommaLynch24) February 8, 2016
Lynch appeared in just seven games during the 2015 season because of abdominal surgery, but his peak from 2011 to 2014 was a sight to behold. A violent runner who bruised opposing defenses and carried would-be tacklers on his back, Lynch personified toughness.
According to Schefter, Lynch led all running backs with 51 rushing touchdowns between 2011 and 2015 despite a 2015 season that produced just 417 yards and three scores on the ground.
"He had a difficult year physically," Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll said, per ESPN.com's Sheil Kapadia. "He’s never had to recover from an injury like that. He’s never had to deal with that kind of process. And he made it back, to his credit. He worked hard to get back and made it back to play. It just was a terrible opportunity for him to have a chance to have an impact on the game."
If Lynch formally files retirement papers, his final game will be the Seahawks' 31-24 loss to the Panthers in the Divisional round of the NFC Playoffs. After missing a Wild-Card showdown against the Minnesota Vikings, Lynch returned and rushed six times for 20 yards in enemy territory as the Seahawks were bounced from the postseason.
It may not have been the ending Lynch wanted after the Seahawks failed to follow up a Super Bowl 48 win with more jewelry during the 2014 or 2015 seasons, but he can walk away from the game on his own terms knowing his best was left on the field.
One of the most unique running backs to ever step on the gridiron, Lynch's lasting legacy will always revolve around his relentless running style and the ground-shaking moments it produced.