The Seattle Seahawks announced that they placed former running back Marshawn Lynch on the reserve/retired list Thursday, making his retirement more official, per John Boyle of the team's official website.
Lynch has not filled out his retirement papers yet, according to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. Gregg Bell of the News Tribune reported that the team opted to put him on the list before June 1, thereby choosing to pay all of Lynch's remaining $5 million this coming season.
Bell noted that Seahawks general manager John Schneider appeared on Seattle’s KJR-AM radio station Tuesday and said Lynch does not have to file his retirement papers by June 1 for the team to place him on the reserve/retired list. Had the Seahawks done so after June 1, they "could have divided the cap charge equally between this year and next," per Bell.
While the running back did not offer any public comments on his retirement, his agent, Doug Hendrickson, and team owner, Paul Allen, both responded to Lynch’s decision:
The Buffalo Bills drafted Lynch in the first round in 2007, and he played there until 2010. He came to the Seahawks via trade during the 2010 campaign and became one of the faces of the franchise, running for 6,347 yards and 57 scores as a Seahawk. Seattle won a Super Bowl and reached another during his tenure. Lynch led the entire league in rushing touchdowns in 2013 and 2014.
The physically bruising back topped the 1,000-yard rushing mark six different times in his career and developed into a game-changing force during his time in Seattle:
|Marshawn Lynch's Career Stats|
|Season||Team||Games||Rushing Yards||Yards per Carry||Rushing Touchdowns|
Now that Lynch is officially retired, Seattle can turn its attention to its next crop of running backs. Boyle pointed out that the team drafted three different players at the position this year (C.J. Prosise, Alex Collins and Zac Brooks) and re-signed Christine Michael during the offseason.
However, it is the presence of Thomas Rawls that will truly help Seattle move on from Lynch in the coming seasons. The young playmaker filled in admirably for the injured Lynch in 2015 and tallied 830 rushing yards and an NFL-best 5.6 yards per carry as a rookie.
He will be only 23 years old during the 2016 campaign and has a bright future ahead of him. With Rawls and quarterback Russell Wilson in the backfield, the Seahawks are well-positioned to remain among the league's best teams in the post-Lynch era.