The Seattle Seahawks have agreed to a new contract extension with Marshawn Lynch on Friday, agreeing to a three year deal with the star running back and now the team may work on an extension for Russell Wilson this offseason, while free agents like Jordan Cameron, Julius Thomas, Owen Daniels and Jermaine Gresham could be targets after the release of Zach Miller.
Lynch agreed to a three year contract worth $31 million after he was set to get paid $7 million and now he is under contract through the 2017 season. According to Pro Football Talk and ESPN, Lynch will get a raise in 2015 with a $12 million salary that includes a $7.5 million signing bonus with the Seahawks and it comes after weeks of talks between the two sides.
The extension has $24 million for the 2016 and 2017 seasons and gives the Seahawks some protection of Lynch decides to retire after the 2015 season. Lynch had previously hinted he was thinking about retirement, but head coach Pete Carroll said he expected Lynch back and now he is returning.
Lynch is 28 years old and has been one of the most productive running backs in the league over the last few seasons. Lynch has not missed a game in the last three seasons and in 2014 he rushed for 1306 yards and 13 touchdowns. Lynch rushed for 36 touchdowns over the last three seasons and he has averaged at least 4.0 yards per carry in each of the last four seasons. The Seahawks wanted Lynch back and now the team can focus on a contract extension with Russell Wilson.
The Seahawks made another personnel move with the release of Miller, as Pro Football Talk reports that the team opted to cut Miller with a "failed physical designation." Miller dealt with multiple ankle surgeries last year and Mike Florio from PFT reports that Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron and Owen Daniels could be potential options for the team.
Miller caught over 100 passes for the team in four seasons and now the 29 year old hits the market after previously playing with the Raiders. The Seahawks could be active on the free agent market at the position and with Thomas expected to leave Denver, he could be an option. Thomas previously played at Portland State and he comes in as the top tight end after making 24 touchdown catches over the last two seasons.
Many in the NFL and in the football media have written about the so-called demise of the running back and devaluing of the position and while much of that may be true, Lynch and some other recent moves show it's not quite there yet. LeSean McCoy may settle in Buffalo with nearly $11 million, while Adrian Peterson could remain in Minnesota for nearly $13 million. The biggest test will be on DeMarco Murray, who is the top player on the market and is coming off of a career season.