Marshawn Lynch-Patriots rumors seem to have completely come out of left field. If Lynch unretires, as the story goes, he may have an interest in signing with the New England Patriots. This result would be contingent on the Seattle Seahawks cutting Lynch and the most recent Oakland Raiders rumors falling through. With the LeGarrette Blount situation unresolved and no Adrian Peterson contract in place, could the Lynch-Patriots rumors actually lead to something getting done between the two sides?
A report by NFL analyst Michael Giardi sheds some expected light upon this developing situation. Girardi states that the Marshawn Lynch-Patriots rumors certainly aren’t as strong as the Lynch-Raiders rumors. If Lynch unretires, he would still prefer to be playing for the soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders during the 2017 NFL season. Any mention of the Patriots seems to be in a situation where Lynch would want to return to the league so badly that he would “settle” for becoming a running back for the defending Super Bowl champions.
To look at the Marshawn Lynch-Patriots rumors in another fashion, general manager and head coach Bill Belichick hasn’t really (publicly) considered acquiring the Pro Bowl running back from the Seattle Seahawks. It would take a lot for Lynch to wind up in New England, including some work by the front office in Seattle to allow it to happen. Would Seahawks general manager John Schneider even be willing to do Lynch the type of favor that would be necessary to get the running back to an East Coast team?
If Marshawn Lynch unretires, he goes back on the payroll for the Seattle Seahawks. This gives the team almost complete control over what he decides to do with his NFL career. When Lynch retired following the 2015 NFL season, he left two years on his contract with the Seahawks. He had also already received a signing bonus that covered the full length of the deal, but the Seahawks didn’t try to recoup any of it when he decided to walk away from the game. The team could presumably do that now if he forces their hand.
There had been a number of Oakland Raiders trade rumors linking the franchise to the Seahawks. The Raiders salary cap space would allow a Lynch trade without worrying too much about the bottom line, but it would certainly come with a high dollar value. Marshan Lynch’s contract would pay him a base salary of $9 million in 2017 and then a salary of $7 million in the 2018 NFL season. He also has a roster bonus of $3 million that would kick in if he remains with the Raiders following the 2017 NFL Playoffs. That might be too pricey for the franchise in terms of return on investment.
If Lynch does become unretired, the Seahawks could simply decide to cut him and allow him to pursue any avenue of his choosing in free agency. NFL free agency still has a high number of available running backs, including LeGarrette Blount, Adrian Peterson, and Jamaal Charles, which is why Lynch’s contract value might take a hit. This is a reason why the Lynch-to-Raiders chatter could get stalled because the team could easily sign one of these free agents for a lower cap hit than what comes in Lynch’s contract.
The Marshawn Lynch to Raiders rumors still seem to make the most sense, as he would be heading home to play the 2017 NFL season. It would also be an easier narrative for Seattle Seahawks fans to accept, as there is still some bitterness after losing the Super Bowl to the Patriots on an interception. Had Lynch rushed for a touchdown on that play, he would likely already have two Super Bowl rings to his name and not feel like there is unfinished business in the NFL. Seeking a deal in these new England Patriots rumors might lose in some core supporters.
As it now stands, the front offices of the Seahawks and Raiders still haven’t revealed any negotiations in regard to the former Pro Bowl running back. This doesn’t mean that talks haven’t taken place, but it does suggest that there might be more “smoke” to these NFL rumors than actual “fire.” It has opened the door for the current Marshawn Lynch to Patriots narrative as well, keeping Beast Mode on the front page of the NFL for a bit longer.
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