Marshawn Lynch has never been one to conform or abide by formalities, and his apparent retirement announcement is no exception. As reported by ESPN, Lynch appeared to retire from professional football by way of Twitter. It’s not uncommon for athletes to transmit their message through social media rather than a swarm of media. For instance, Kobe Bryant announced his impending retirement through the medium by way of an article he penned to the Player’s Tribune. But Marshawn Lynch wasn’t about to convey many feelings, if any, as evidenced by this simple tweet.
— Shawn Lynch (@MoneyLynch) February 8, 2016
When someone says they’re “hanging them up” or they’re “hanging up their cleats,” it indicates that they’re retiring or moving on from that particular venture. Marshawn Lynch’s tweet would signify that after nine years in the NFL, he’s decided to “hang em up.” The peace sign emoji is just further proof that Lynch is saying “peace out” and bidding adieu to a game he excelled at. Lynch posted the tweet during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s Super Bowl, one in which saw the Denver Broncos defeat the Carolina Panthers 24-10. Lynch’s Seahawks dismantled Peyton Manning and the Broncos in Super Bowl 48 just two years ago.
As should be expected, many of Marshawn Lynch’s teammates took time away from the Super Bowl to post their reactions to the apparent retirement, including Russell Wilson and Richard Sherman, as well as Seahawks’ owner Paul Allen.
— Russell Wilson (@DangeRussWilson) February 8, 2016
Salute to my guy @MoneyLynch … It was an honor sharing the field with you.
— Richard Sherman (@RSherman_25) February 8, 2016
— Paul Allen (@PaulGAllen) February 8, 2016
It should come as no surprise that Marshawn Lynch would call it quits in this fashion. The enigma, wrapped in a Beast Mode’s body, was not one for press conferences or public statements that carried any substance. During Super Bowl 49’s media day, Lynch responded to over 20 questions with the phrase, “I’m just here so I won’t get fined” over and over again until the requisite five minutes had expired. A year later, he had the phrase trademarked and used it on T-shirts manufactured by his own clothing line.
If this is indeed the end of the road for Marshawn Lynch in the NFL, as was rumored and expected earlier in the offseason — he will finish his career with over 9,000 yards rushing and 74 touchdowns. Up until this season, Lynch was one of the more durable running backs in the league, missing just one game in the previous four seasons combined. In 2015, Lynch missed nine regular-season games and the Seahawks’ Wild Card Playoff win over the Minnesota Vikings due to a sports abdomen injury. He returned for their Divisional Round Playoff loss to Carolina, where he had just eight touches accounting for only 35 yards.
Marshawn Lynch is only 29-years old, but his physical style of play certainly played a part in his decision. It had been reported that back problems nearly forced him to retire a year ago.
Replacing Lynch will likely come in the form of Thomas Rawls, who thrived while filling in for Lynch until a broken ankle ended his season in mid-December. Rawls is expected to make a full recovery and return healthy in time for training camp. Replacing Lynch’s leadership, tenacity and even his love for Skittles is another story. Lynch can now “taste the rainbow” in retirement after a very successful, and sometimes controversial, career.
[Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images]