As an instrumental part of the Seattle Seahawks and their success over the last couple of seasons, Marshawn Lynch wants a new deal that promises him job security as he heads into the next stage of his career which is usually kind of tricky for a running back. He is willing to skip the mandatory minicamp in order to help get his point across.
Lynch has been part of the Seahawks since being traded there from the Buffalo Bills in 2010. In his three full seasons with the team he has rushed for at least 1200 yards in each season, and had a very strong playoff performance last year, rushing for 140 yards against the New Orleans Saints and 109 yards against the San Francisco 49ers. His skills weren’t that necessary in the blowout Super Bowl win.
Since 2011, Lynch has scored more touchdowns than anyone in the NFL – 39 in total, 35 of them rushing. He also has more 100-yard performances than anyone else, reaching that mark 19 times since 2011. He is 28 years old, and will be starting the third year of a four year deal worth $30 million which included a $6 million signing bonus. His base salary is $5 million but counts as $7 million against the cap.
In 2015, the final year of his contract, the cap hit will grow to $9 million while Lynch himself will be making $5.5 million. However, the Seahawks will be able to save up to $7.5 million if they cut Lynch before the season begins, which is something most running backs in the NFL these days are afraid of, as the league seems to be either moving towards a pass oriented offense or simply see the tail back as an easily replaceable position.
The Seahawks have cap issues to worry about. After giving Richard Sherman his huge extension, Russell Wilson’s turn will soon be coming. After the huge deal Colin Kaepernick received from the San Francisco 49ers, Wilson might be expecting the same kind of money, even though the Seahawks are a lot more about offensive line and defense than their quarterback’s ability to make plays.
So Lynch is willing to soak up $70,000 in fines for not attending the mandatory minicamp next week if it means he has a better shot of getting a contract from the Seahawks. Lynch wouldn’t mind taking a paycut to get more guaranteed money up front and avoid getting released next season. Who knows how he’ll be in 2014, although there were no signs of decline last season. Being a workhorse-style running back usually means a sharp fall later in a career, and Lynch wants to avoid that decline costing him a lot of money. The Seahawks can save some cap space and keep a valuable team member without making things ugly between them by giving him a reduced contract.