Improbably, Marshawn Lynch is back.
Thanks to his under the radar conditioning program, the enigmatic running back is once more in the NFL. He’s with the Seattle Seahawks, and he plays like he hasn’t missed a week of playtime. It’s a dreamlike run to watch, one that Seahawks fans will cherish for years to come.
Here’s how it came to be — and how much he’s likely getting compensated for it.
How Marshawn Lynch’s career led him to Seattle
Marshawn Lynch started his career somewhat quietly after being the No. 12 overall pick in 2007 by the Buffalo Bills. Despite back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons to begin his career, he was somewhat anonymous in Buffalo. By 2008, he was named to the Pro Bowl.
Legal troubles and injuries affected the rest of Lynch’s short run with the Bills. He started just six games in the 2009 season, and the Bills traded him to Seattle at the beginning of 2010, shortly after an ankle injury sidelined him. Almost immediately, Beast Mode was activated.
Lynch’s Seahawks years define his career. That is where Lynch became a player that can only be described as superhuman. His preternatural ability — to keep pushing forward on plays that, a split second ago, looked over. He spun through tackles, leaped over defenders, and found routes to the end zone few other players could.
He was instrumental in the infamous 43-8 dragging of the Denver Broncos in Super Bowl XLVIII. When he abruptly retired in 2015, Seattle mourned the loss of the five-time Pro Bowler.
The second retirement didn’t last long for Lynch
Lynch didn’t stay away from the NFL for long. He only missed the 2016 season before deciding to return for very personal reasons. He wanted to show kids in Oakland that a local guy could make it to the top before the team moves to Las Vegas.
His two seasons with the Oakland Raiders in 2017 and 2018 were not memorable for the organization. But for Lynch, they proved that his football career hadn’t worn on his body as much as it often does for players past 30 years old.
This time around, Lynch’s retirement was even shorter. Before the regular season was over, head coach Pete Carroll and the Seahawks convinced Lynch to return to the team where he made Beast Mode a reality.
Lynch didn’t wait long to make a statement with the Seahawks
Don’t let the Seahawks’ Week 17 loss to the 49ers distract from the truth about the 33-year old Lynch. He came back to the game looking nearly the same as when he left it. In particular — an end zone Superman leap that looked straight out of a 2014 highlight reel.
Then, on an even bigger stage, he did it again. In the Wild Card round of the playoffs, Lynch proved to a national audience that age really is just a number. Quarterback Russell Wilson was amazing, and wide receiver D.K. Metcalf was the breakout star of the game.
But the indelible, singular highlight was Lynch breaking tackle after tackle, powering his way in for the difference-making touchdown.
The big playoff bonuses on deck for Marshawn Lynch
Marshawn Lynch missed almost every game of the 2019 regular season. But his impact at the end of the road is undeniable.
So how much did Seattle put on the line to get Beast Mode back on their squad?
Apparently, he agreed to the league minimum for the regular season, prorated for one game. That $60,588 payment is not a number to sniff at since it scales up thanks to his tenure of over 10 years in the league.
Of course, that’s not really why Lynch came back for one last rodeo in Seattle. The playoffs are where he’ll make the real money, with bonuses for each round he helps the Seahawks advance.
He already has a $31,000 bonus for getting through the Eagles in the wild card. A divisional-round win against the Packers will be worth another $56,000. Winning the NFC championship brings some money, and if the Seahawks win the Super Bowl, that’s another $124,000 straight to the official Beast Mode bank account.
That also doesn’t account for any performance-based bonuses that might be in his contract without the public’s awareness. So, Marshawn Lynch could earn more than $300,000 for a few weeks of work. No training camp, no grind of the regular season, just some rigorous training on his own and a few games. Going by his performance so far, that should easily be worth the investment for the Seattle Seahawks.