Three months after all signs pointed to Marshawn Lynch moving on from the Seattle Seahawks after the season, the team is preparing to give him a “monster” contract extension, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Next year is the final year of Lynch’s contract. He’s due to make $US5 million.
According to Rapoport, the Seahawks are going to double his 2015 salary to $US10 million as part of a deal that will keep him in Seattle “for the rest of his career.”
Lynch would be the second-highest paid running back in the NFL, and the only running back besides Adrian Peterson with a base salary of $US10 million or more.
It’s a complete 180 from where Lynch was in November. As far back as August, there has been tension between the team and him over his contract. He refused to show up to the first week of training camp in hopes of getting more money. His hold out eventually got an extra $US1.5 million out of the team, but not before coach Pete Carroll publicly scolded him by saying, “It’s a contract for a reason. We expect them to honour their contract just as we will. We’re going to honour it and we expect them to do the same.”
The NFL Network’s Mike Silver reported that Carroll’s quotes created “bitterness” between the player and the coach.
After the team stumbled out to a 4-3 start to the season, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported that the Seahawks had “grown tired of his ways” and planned to release him after the season. At the time, Rapoport even reported that Lynch and Carroll weren’t on speaking terms.
Things hit a low point during Seattle’s Week 11 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs. Lynch stayed on the field at halftime to get treatment on an abdominal injury instead of going to the locker room, which is a highly unusual move. After the game, he told NFL Network:
“Do I think I’ll be gone after this season? I don’t know, man. The Seahawks, their front office gets in the media; they talk a lot. I don’t talk too much. I just play the game.”
So what changed? How do we go from Lynch refusing to go to the locker room at halftime to Lynch getting a 100% raise?
The answer is simple: The Seahawks started winning, and Lynch was a huge reason why.
Seattle has won eight games in a row since Week 11. During that span Lynch has run for 100 yards three times and averaged more than five yards per carry. While he has gotten criticised for his crotch-grab celebrations and his refusal to speak with the media, any and all reports of animosity behind the scenes dried up once the Seahawks started dominating teams again.
On October 27th SI’s Peter King, the country’s most influential NFL writer, wrote about the Lynch situation:
“I believe this season is the end for Lynch in Seattle. The drafting of Robert Turbin and Christine Michael in 2012 and 2013, respectively, provides a big clue that the Seahawks will move on when Lynch turns 29 in the off-season.
“In the coming weeks, they will need Lynch, and it will be interesting to see if he throws all of himself into his work knowing his future with the team is very likely a short-term one.”
It’s safe to say he “threw all of himself into his work.” In fact, he threw so much of himself into his work that he’s now getting a $US5 million raise instead of getting cut.
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