Marshawn Lynch is a free agent, though he is likely to return. The Seahawks want to get a long term deal signed with Lynch, but they also have the franchise tag if needed. Lynch finished the season with over 1200 yards, the first Seahawk to break 1000 since 2005.
I believe that Lynch will be willing to sign a team-friendly deal in order to stay in Seattle. Lynch is smart enough to know that the Seahawks offense suits his skill set perfectly. After a good rookie season, Lynch slowly dropped down the depth chart to 3rd in Buffalo before the Seahawks gave his career new life. Lynch will realize that greener pastures come with the risk that he might once again fall out of favor.
Justin Forsett is also a free agent, and appears to be done in Seattle. He is a better receiver than a runner, and just doesn’t fit the style of offense the Seahawks are running. Don’t be surprised if he ends up in Cleveland.
Leon Washington is the only back who was on roster in 2011 who is still under contract. While Leon did little to help the offense this past season, he was the team’s primary returner on both punts and kickoffs. Washington should be a bigger part of the offense in 2012, though mostly in the passing game.
Fullback Michael Robinson is also a free agent. Robinson really developed into a strong lead blocker this past season. He also seems to really master his roll in the Seahawk’s zone blocking scheme. It should have been a surprise the Robinson was selected to the Pro-Bowl. The Seahawks want Robinson to return, but don’t be surprised to see him get plenty of interest for other teams. Ultimately, I think he returns to Seattle.
Finally there’s Via Taua, a running back who was on and off the practice squad all season. Taua has already signed a contract to join the team in training camp. Taua isn’t particularly talented. The odds of him making this teams next season are definitely stacked against him.
Prediction: The Seahawks will re-sign Lynch and Robinson, and draft a RB late on the final day of the draft. Marc Tyler out of USC would be a good fit for this offense and could be available in the 7th round.