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Marshawn Lynch Comes out of Retirement, Signs Seahawks Contract Ahead of Week 17

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistDecember 24, 2019

MIAMI, FL - SEPTEMBER 23: Marshawn Lynch #24 of the Oakland Raiders during the game against the Miami Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium on September 23, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Mark Brown Photos LLC/Getty Images

Marshawn Lynch is coming out of retirement to sign with the Seattle Seahawks, his agent confirmed Monday night.

Doug Hendrickson @DHendrickson41

My son ⁦@MoneyLynch⁩ is back! Boom let’s go! ⁦@Seahawks⁩ #teamwass https://t.co/rujxV1tbTu

The contract is for Week 17 and the postseason, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Mike Garafolo and Tom Pelissero reported Monday that Lynch planned to travel to Seattle to visit with the Seahawks.

Ian Rapoport @RapSheet

The #Seahawks have a loooong history with Marshawn Lynch, but the organization and BeastMode have always maintained a great relationship. That helps in times like this. https://t.co/c9cND7ABow

Head coach Pete Carroll confirmed the veteran running back was on his way in an interview on 710 ESPN Seattle:

"He'll be flying in here this morning and we're going to give him a really good chance to come back and play for us. I'm fired up for it. He's got to get through hoops he has to jump through here, physical and stuff like that, but he's been working really hard. He's really excited about the chance to do something, helping out. I think it's... great if he can get out there and tote the ball for us. The circumstances rolled just at this time. He could have four, five games left in him. Maybe that's just what we need."

The team is dealing with an injury crisis in the backfield. Rashaad Penny tore his ACL earlier in the month, and both Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise were injured in Sunday's 27-13 defeat to the Arizona Cardinals.

The Seahawks have already clinched a playoff berth and can seal an NFC West title with a win over the San Francisco 49ers in Week 17. They obviously needed to address their lack of running backs.

It's fair to wonder how effective Lynch can be, however, after a lengthy layoff.

He ended his brief retirement in April 2017 and signed with the Oakland Raiders. The Oakland native immediately became a favorite among the team's fans.

He enjoyed a productive 2017 season, running for 891 yards and seven touchdowns while averaging 4.3 yards per carry. Football Outsiders ranked him ninth among qualified running backs in DYAR (defense-adjusted yards above replacement).

Lynch took a slight step backward in 2018, which wasn't all that surprising for a running back who had turned 32.

The Raiders didn't help Lynch much either when they hired Tom Cable as their offensive line coach. Toward the end of his tenure with the Seahawks, Cable received criticism for the team's inability to protect Russell Wilson or open up lanes for their running backs.

In Cable's first year back on the Oakland coaching staff, the Raiders were 13th in adjusted line yards and 25th in adjusted sack rate, per Football Outsiders. They were 11th and seventh in those two categories in 2017.

Lynch ran for 376 yards and three touchdowns in six games before a core muscle injury landed him on injured reserve.

In January, Raiders head coach Jon Gruden was unsure whether Lynch intended to return for the 2019 season.

"I don't know yet," Gruden told reporters. "I think when we get back after the Super Bowl, we'll have a lot better indication on his health and his desires, what he wants to do. I'm sure if he wants to play, somebody like me would love to have him back."

Little had changed when the NFL Scouting Combine rolled around in February.

Vic Tafur @VicTafur

Gruden said No. 1 on the agenda is finding out where Marshawn Lynch is physically after his surgery. He hopes to know RB’s status in next two weeks

Matt Schneidman @mattschneidman

Gruden on Marshawn Lynch's future: "The coming weeks will give us a better indication where he is physically and that's the No. 1 thing. We've gotta find out officially how he has responded to the injury and we'll know something here in a few weeks."

At this stage of the season, Seattle's options were limited, and the team had to sign somebody because Travis Homer was the only healthy running back in the depth chart. Robert Turbin confirmed Monday he was signing with the team to bolster its ranks a bit more.

Lynch is already pretty familiar with the team's offensive scheme and he'll have a strong rapport with his teammates, most notably Russell Wilson. He spent nearly six seasons in the Pacific Northwest, making four straight Pro Bowls between 2011 and 2014.

Lynch will forever occupy a place in Seahawks lore for his on-field performance and colorful personality.

If nothing else, his return to Seattle should provide a boost to the locker room ahead of the postseason.


Well, they're back from the dead. The Zombie Eagles have arisen, and Adam Lefkoe and Brian Westbrook are your undertakers. Plus, Brady looks like Brady once again, and the Ravens truly cannot be stopped (and Lefkoe can't help but gloat about his 100% bullseye correct preseason predictions). All this, a discussion on Marshawn Lynch and more on The Lefkoe Show! Happy holidays, everyone!

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