Marshawn Lynch and Arian Foster could end up on the free agent market this offseason if the running backs are released by the Seattle Seahawks and Houston Texans. Teams like the Dallas Cowboys, Oakland Raiders, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, 49ers and NY Giants all could be potential landing spots if the players are cut.
Lynch's future with the Seahawks has been speculated on since before last season and there is a good chance he could be cut in the offseason. Seahawks general manager John Schneider spoke about Lynch to the Seattle Times last week and told Bob Condotta that he is "under the impression" that Lynch is leaning towards retirement. Lynch hinted at retirement before last season and later signed a new deal with the Seahawks, but this time around he could be more serious about hanging up his cleats.
Either way, Lynch's future in Seattle is a bit murky, as the running back dealt with multiple injuries last season and he is heading towards the age of 30, which is when most players at the position start breaking down. Lynch only played in seven games for the Seahawks while dealing with hamstring and abdominal injuries and he finished with his lowest yards per carry total since coming to Seattle. Lynch has been one of the most worked backs in football over the past four years and that production may finally be catching up with him.
Lynch will cost over $11 million on the salary cap next season and that high number could force the Seahawks to make a move. John Clayton spoke with ESPN 710 Seattle and said that he thinks there is "no way I can see (him back) with his salary" where it is now. The Seahawks can save over $6 million if they release Lynch and with Thomas Rawls making less than $1 million for next season, Lynch could be on his way out in Seattle.
Arian Foster could be on the chopping block this offseason, as the Houston Texans running back also dealt with injuries this season. According to the Houston Chronicle, Aaron Wilson reports that "multiple sources" have said that they expect the Texans to move on from Foster this offseason. Foster is going to be 30 by the time next season starts and he also has a non-guaranteed salary at $6.5 million for 2016. Foster potentially could take a pay cut, but right now it looks like he will be on his way out of Houston.
Foster only played in four games this past season and over the past few years he has missed over 20 combined games with injuries. Foster has been injury prone for the bulk of his career and that could contribute to the decision for Houston. There are a number of teams that could be in the market for running backs this offseason, including the Cowboys, Dolphins, Patriots, Giants and Browns. If Lynch and Foster are released (and if Lynch doesn't want to retire) expect both players to be prime targets on the market for teams to try and sign in free agency.