The Seattle Seahawks have moved through the offseason with questions around veteran running back Marshawn Lynch‘s NFL future. There hasn’t been any indication concerning whether he will be back another season or step away from the game for a third and likely final time. There isn’t any rush about when Lynch should be back in the fold, but the longer this decision lingers, the more unlikely it seems that he will ramp it up for another campaign. All that future begs the question if he’s played his final NFL game.
Marshawn Lynch’s 2019 season return
Lynch had finished the 2018 season with the assumption that he was stepping away from the game for the final time after his brief tenure with the then-Oakland Raiders after undergoing groin surgery.
However, the ideal situation opened up with the Seahawks as the team suffered disappointing season-ending injuries to starter Chris Carson while back Rashaad Penny had already been declared out for the year. Lynch stepped in as the spot starter for the final game of the regular season garnering 34 rushing yards on 12 carries and a touchdown.
The 33-year-old’s production and the role was limited in the playoffs, but he did record three rushing touchdowns while rushing for 33 yards on 18 carries in two postseason games. Although it was a brief stint in the 2019 season, Lynch did demonstrate that he can still be a viable goal-line option.
Timetable for Marshawn Lynch’s decision
Lynch has reached the point in his career where his NFL career is entirely up in the air.
However, his decision to return for the 2019 campaign does show he still has a strong passion for the game, albeit it came in the right circumstances for him to get back in the mix. Mike Silver of NFL Network did report did provide some insight on the situation earlier this month as he voiced that Lynch’s decision could come after training camp.
That timetable could be at a bit of influx given the current situation in the United States concerning the coronavirus that has shut down almost all sports leagues and events in the country. It could push things back significantly across the board, but the update does give an indication about which point in the offseason that decision will come.
The Seahawks will likely not pressure Lynch throughout this process and operate under the assumption that he won’t be back for another season. It should also be noted that he is a free agent, which shouldn’t impact Seattle in any significant manner with their backfield gameplan.
What will Marshawn Lynch do?
It’s still quite early in free agency, which has left plenty of time for Lynch to decide on what he wants to do for the 2020 season.
If he’s accepting of a limited role with the Seahawks, he could return to the team playing alongside Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny next year. Lynch has plenty left in the tank to at least be a viable goal-line option at this stage of his career.
If Lynch does retire, his legacy is already set as one of the better running backs in NFL history. He put together an impressive career that saw him garner 10,413 rushing yards and 85 rushing touchdowns and nine receiving touchdowns over 12-plus seasons in the league.
It’s hard to predict whether he will garner any serious consideration for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but he will one day down the line be inducted into the Seahawks’ Ring of Honor and more than likely have his number retired. Ultimately, Lynch’s NFL future should be known at some point during the offseason before the start of the 2020 campaign.