Since the 2019 season, Marshawn Lynch hasn’t moved toward an official NFL retirement. Lynch has flirted with the idea of continuing his career, but that hasn’t guided him to another comeback. All that chatter nearly saw him go that route last offseason.
Marshawn Lynch’s NFL career
Marshawn Lynch entered the NFL as a promising running back following a productive collegiate career at Cal.
Lynch immediately showcased his game-changing ability with the Buffalo Bills, but his career only took to greater heights after a trade to the Seattle Seahawks in the 2010 season. Lynch became the central piece to the Seahawks that lifted another level after Russell Wilson arrived.
He strung together four straight campaigns with north of 1,200 rushing yards, including leading the league in rushing touchdowns twice. During that span, Lynch earned four of his five career Pro Bowl selections, a First-Team All-Pro nod and a Second-Team All-Pro selection.
Lynch was a pivotal piece to the Seahawks’ back-to-back Super Bowl appearances, including their Super Bowl 48 win. His career then became hampered by injuries, leading him to retirement in 2016. Lynch then returned for two years with the then-Oakland Raiders in 2017 before stepping away again.
He suited up again for a couple of games for the Seahawks in 2019 due to their depleted backfield. Since then, Lynch hasn’t played another game, but that nearly changed last offseason.
Marshawn Lynch surprisingly admits he nearly made an NFL comeback last year
Since Marshawn Lynch took his last snap in the 2019 season, he has flirted with continuing his NFL career.
One of those instances nearly came about last offseason as he almost took up another opportunity. During a recent interview on ESPN+, Lynch revealed that he talked with Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers about a possible deal.
“I was specifically speaking to Tom Brady and the Bucs. That’s who I was talking to,” Lynch told ESPN, via Pro Football Talk.
Lynch elected to pass on the opportunity, which likely led the franchise to ink LeSean McCoy to a one-year contract last July. The team followed that up by signing former Pro Bowl running back Leonard Fournette.
These comments from Lynch certainly line up with his previous stance that he would only make a comeback if the scenario gave him a chance to compete for a championship. The Buccaneers would have provided him that chance, but it wasn’t enough to motivate him to continue his career.
Instead, the Buccaneers brought aboard another proven running back. McCoy played in a reduced role as he took only 116 snaps in the 2020 regular season, piling up 31 rushing yards on 10 attempts and 101 receiving yards on 15 receptions in 10 games played.
McCoy only took two snaps in the Buccaneers’ Super Bowl run. Lynch could have likely filled the same role for Tampa Bay while providing a strong goal-line option.
The 34-year-old hasn’t announced his official retirement, but that door could be finally closed as not even the chance to play with Tom Brady was enough to get him to lace up his cleats again.
Buccaneers geared toward another Super Bowl push
Marshawn Lynch’s addition to the Buccaneers would have been intriguing, but the franchise didn’t need him to get over the top.
Tampa Bay has also put together a strong offseason after their Super Bowl win by retaining all their key players in free agency outside of Antonio Brown. The expectation is that the team will re-sign Brown this offseason despite some lingering competition from the Seattle Seahawks.
The front office has also added former Cincinnati Bengals running back Giovanni Bernard in free agency. All that has placed the Buccaneers in the prime position to compete for a second straight championship.
With another year in the same offensive system for Tom Brady, Tampa Bay will enter the 2021 season as the clear-cut Super Bowl favorites.