The Seattle Seahawks have some key players that may not return for 2016, including Marshawn Lynch, Bruce Irvin, Jermaine Kearse and Russell Okung. Lynch may retire this offseason, while players like Irvin, Kearse and Okung could leave in free agency.
Lynch and his status with the team was up in the air heading into the offseason, as the running back dealt with numerous injuries last season and also has a high cap hit. Lynch reportedly was considering retirement this offseason, and it appears that the running back is going that route. Lynch posted on Twitter a picture of cleats hanging up and many of his teammates congratulated him on a great career. Earlier in the offseason general manager John Schneider said to the Seattle Times that he is "under the impression" that Lynch is leaning towards retirement over coming back next season.
Lynch reportedly was considering retirement last year while dealing with a contract dispute with the Seahawks and that eventually led to Lynch getting a new deal. Lynch is set to cost over $11 million on the salary cap next season and that could lead to his release if Lynch doesn't retire. ESPN reporter John Clayton spoke to ESPN 710 Seattle that there is "no way" that Lynch returns to the Seahawks on his current salary.
Lynch dealt with multiple injuries last season and had his worst performance stats-wise since coming to Seattle. Lynch is getting to the age when most running backs start to break down and he may be breaking down already. The team may want to give Thomas Rawls the chance to start next season, as he performed well with Lynch sidelined and also makes significantly less money at less than $1 million for next season.
The Seahawks have given out a number of contracts over the past couple years and that could keep the team from signing back some free agents. Of the group of players hitting the market now in Irvin, Kearse and Okung, Irvin the most likely to get a deal, but that doesn't mean he will end up returning. According to the Seattle Times, it's "conventional wisdom" that the Seahawks likely will let Irvin walk in free agency.
The team has already signed Bobby Wagner and after not picking up the fifth year option on Irvin, there is a chance he ends up leaving for another team. Irving has said he is willing to take a hometown discount to stay with the Seahawks, but that may not be enough to get a deal done. Jermaine Kearse is also likely to leave in free agency, as he has said that he is not willing to take a hometown discount. The emergence of Tyler Lockett likely makes it easier to let Kearse go and he could get fairly expensive after having a career-best season in 2015. Bob Condotta at the Times also reports that Okung is likely to leave and will test the market in free agency.
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