Seattle Seahawks rumors about Marshawn Lynch getting cut have returned. Despite getting Lynch back, the Seahawks just lost to the Carolina Panthers in the 2016 NFL Playoffs. As the primary running back for the Seahawks again, Lynch rushed for just 20 yards on six carries. He caught two passes for an additional 20 yards, but the Seahawks had to move away from the running game in the second half. It’s certainly possible that the January 17 game could be his final one in a Seahawks uniform.
With a need to improve the offensive line and Thomas Rawls possibly ready to take over the running back position, Marhsawn Lynch may have become expendable. Lynch was banged up for most of the 2015 NFL season, but he still looked strong against the Panthers on Sunday. He may still have a lot left to offer a team, which puts the front office in Seattle in a very difficult position. Should the team continue to ride Lynch for as long as it can? Is now the time for the Seahawks to move in a different direction?
A primary component of these Seattle Seahawks rumors is just how much money the team could save by cutting Marshawn Lynch. For the 2016 NFL season, Lynch is scheduled to make $9 million in base salary. His cap hit will be $11.5 million after the Seahawks gave him a large signing bonus to agree to a contract extension. Should the team continue to keep Lynch on the payroll, he is also under contract for the 2017 NFL season with a $7 million base salary and a $3 million roster bonus.
The Seahawks gave Lynch $12 million in guaranteed salary when he agreed to the two-year, $24 million extension. That includes $5 million in dead cap money for the 2016 NFL season and $2.5 million in dead cap money for the 2017 NFL season. The dead cap money counts against the team whether Lynch is on the roster or not. If the Seahawks decided to cut Lynch, the team would save $6.5 million in cap space in 2016 and about $10 million in cap space for 2017. With a number of needs during the NFL offseason, it’s certainly money the front office could use.
For the 2016 NFL season, there are going to be a lot of Seattle Seahawks rumors about the salary cap, free agency, and the upcoming NFL Draft. Regarding the biggest salary cap hits on the roster, quarterback Russell Wilson is at $18.542 million, cornerback Richard Sherman is at $14.769 million, running back Marshawn Lynch is at $11.5 million, safety Earl Thomas is at $9.9 million, and tight end Jimmy Graham is at $9 million. Currently, the Seahawks have about $124 million against the cap, which actually gives the team a lot of money to spend in the offseason.
With the current roster, the Seahawks have just over $30 million to spend during the NFL offseason. Those numbers could shift a bit based on what the 2016 NFL salary cap ends up being, as it is currently estimated to be around $154 million. Seahawks players about to become free agents include offensive tackle Russell Okung, defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, linebacker Bruce Irvin, receiver Jermaine Kearse, cornerback Jeremy Lane, and punter Jon Ryan. Backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson will also become an unrestricted free agent.
Having an additional $6.5 million could certainly help the Seahawks during free agency, but can the team survive a Marshawn Lynch cut? He could possibly sign with another team and take the release personally when he plays against the Seahawks. The alternative for the front office is to stick with Lynch due to what he has done for the team and what he might be able to do in the future. Without Lynch, Russell Wilson started to show how good he could be in a primarily passing offense. That is a topic that will come up in many Seattle Seahawks rumors this offseason.
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