Earlier today, Colin Floyd produced a very intriguing thought as to whether or not Marshawn Lynch should worry about his starting spot with the Seattle Seahawks. While I’m not so much worried about that myself, I do not think the news that Lynch is skipping out on mandatory camp is meaningless.
In fact I think it may mean more than it initially appears, it may mean the end of “Beast Mode’s” career is near. Running backs are an odd type and they literally do everything but throw a football on a regular basis, blocking, catching, running, hitting, getting hit, etc., and it can take available miles off quickly. Lynch is known as one of the most physical backs in the NFL, alongside the likes of Adrian Peterson and, well, nobody else really compares.
Running backs have the shortest lifespan of any position in the NFL and Marshawn is way up there in years accrued, not to mention carries. Marshawn is 28 and has played seven seasons already, carrying for 7,389 yards (including almost 5K in the past 3 seasons alone), 63 touchdowns and racking up nearly 10,000 yards from scrimmage. He’s also had to deal with neck and back problems for a good chunk of his pro career, battling through to start every game last season for the first time since he’s been a Seahawk.
In many circumstances as they get older, players that have concerns about their bodies holding up will take extra time to recover from their previous season. Lynch could very well be holding out to avoid the rigors of the offseason, the bumps and bruises that come along with mini-camp and OTA’s.
Best Tickets blog gives us an interesting chart of positional life-expectancy for NFL players.
While he could be holding out in search of a new contract that he knows isn’t coming, it’s my belief that Marshawn Lynch is simply ok with the $69,445 that he will be fined for missing camp so he can rest up a little longer. Basically the return of getting extra rest is worth it to him (he’s set to receive upwards of $5 million in 2014 and that doesn’t include money from the Skittles endorsements he signed last season).
There’s little doubt Marshawn Lynch will be there for the season and he is still one of the best backs in the entire NFL, but he’s not getting any younger. On the plus side for him, he is still in peak physical condition and if the Hawks are serious about a true two-back system in Seattle this upcoming season, he may just keep enough tread on the tires to have some demand in the trade market for 2015 and/or free agency market in 2016.
If a team is serious about their running game and could produce a similar multiple-back attack for Lynch to work in he would produce decent numbers for the next few years. After that he may get another big single-year or two-year contract to finish it up somewhere, but there’s not another major four or even three-year contract on the horizon.
He may not even last that long though. Beast Mode is a Super Bowl champion and might just have everything he needs after his time with the Seahawks is up. Barry Sanders called it quits with a whole lot less in his trophy case.