SEATTLE – Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch may be “leaning toward retirement,” general manager John Schneider said in a pair of radio interviews Friday.
Schneider said in separate interviews with KIRO-AM and KJR-AM that he believes Lynch is leaning toward calling it a career after an injury-filled 2015 season.
Schneider first appeared on KIRO, the team’s flagship station, saying the team was going to give Lynch time and leeway to decide what he wants to do, but added he was “under the impression,” Lynch was leaning toward retirement.
Later on KJR, Schneider hedged his comments slightly, but reiterated that he thought Lynch was considering stepping away.
“I really, honestly don’t know at this point,” Schneider said. “If you put a gun to my head I would say he is leaning toward retirement. But I think with Marshawn you never really know. He’s a fierce competitor. We just have to handle it the right way in terms of showing him as much respect as we possibly can for everything he’s done for this organization.”
Lynch was limited to just seven regular-season games in 2015, first bothered by hamstring and calf issues and later missing the final seven regular-season games with an abdominal injury that required surgery. Lynch returned for the NFC divisional playoff game at Carolina but was mostly a non-factor with the Seahawks falling behind 14-0 in the opening moments of the loss.
Lynch was limited to just 111 carries and 417 yards in the regular season, the first season of his career where injuries have been a significant factor. He has contemplated retirement in the past and will turn 30 in April. And Seattle appears to have an heir apparent after rookie Thomas Rawls had four 100-yard games filling in for Lynch.
There’s also the financial consideration. Lynch would cost the Seahawks $11.5 million against the salary cap for the 2016 season, a massive number for a running back of his age. Schneider indicated that if Lynch wanted to return for another season, there would need to be changes to his contract.
“Sure if he were to want to come back and play we would have to adjust some things,” Schneider said. “But at this point it’s so early we’re not in that train of thought yet.”