Report: Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch will retire

The Seattle Times

An ESPN report Sunday morning has only added to the indications that Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch may be close to retiring.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Lynch “has told people close to him he plans to retire, according to league sources.”

Seattle general manager John Schneider said in a pair of radio interviews on Jan. 22 that Lynch was leaning toward retiring, saying then: “Really, quite frankly, I think that we know that we feel like he is leaning towards retirement.”

Schneider indicated then the team was waiting for Lynch to make his decision and announcement on his own terms.

“We feel like we are ready to move forward,” Schneider said in an interview on KJRA-AM 950. “Moving on kind of seems like, ‘OK we are just passing this guy off to the side.’ We recognize what he has done for the organization. So again, we are going to try to handle it as properly as we can so we want to make sure that he is in the right frame of mind and he’s making the correct decision for himself.”

ESPN also reported that teammates are attempting to talk Lynch out of retiring.

However, the team might simply release Lynch if he does not retire as the Seahawks could save $6.5 million against the salary cap by cutting him — there is no difference in the salary cap hit if he retires or is released.

Lynch, who turns 30 in April, is coming off the first season of his career in which he had significant injuries, missing the last seven games of the regular season after undergoing abdominal/sports-hernia surgery and playing in just seven overall.

The Seahawks also now have a cheaper and proven alternative to take over for Lynch in Thomas Rawls, who had 830 yards in 13 games in 2015 to lead the Seahawks before suffering a broken left ankle against Baltimore that sidelined him for the season. Rawls is expected to make a full recovery before the season begins.