Marshawn Lynch and Arian Foster could end up on the free agent market this offseason if they are released by the Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans.
Reports have both players on the chopping block this offseason and if that happens, teams like the Oakland Raiders, New England Patriots, Miami Dolphins, New York Giants and Dallas Cowboys could be interested in signing the running backs. Lynch and Foster are both coming off of injury plagued seasons and that could be one of the main factors in whether they get released or not. Money also will play a big factor and that could lead to the RBs hitting the market.
Lynch is coming into the offseason after playing in just seven games during the season for the Seahawks while dealing with hamstring and abdominal injuries. Lynch started off last year with a contract dispute and while he received a pay bump for 2015, he did not receive any security past this season. Lynch will count over $11 million on the cap for next season and he will be 30 years old by the time the season starts.
Those factors could play a big role in whether or not he gets released and the Seahawks could save over $6 million on the cap if Lynch is cut. Lynch could talk about restructuring his deal or taking a pay cut, but after what happened last year with his contract that is unlikely at this time. According to the Seattle Times, Pete Carroll said that "I don't know how that's going to go," regarding the status for Lynch next season.
Arian Foster also could end up on the market this offseason, as the Houston Texans are reportedly considering releasing the running back. The Houston Chronicle reports that "multiple sources" have said that Foster is expected to be let go this offseason. Foster only played in four games this season while dealing with groin and Achilles injuries and he has been injury prone in the past. Foster will be 30 by the time next season starts and he has a salary for next season that is not guaranteed.
Pro Football Talk writes that Foster could look at getting his deal restructured or take a pay cut, but that right now the expectation is that he will be released. Foster has not played a full season since 2012 and has missed over 20 games combined in the past three seasons. Lynch and Foster could be targets for numerous teams, including the Raiders and Cowboys. The Raiders may want to add some depth behind Latavius Murray, while the Cowboys are looking for more options to play alongside Darren McFadden.