Last weekend, the Seattle Seahawks spent two of their 11 draft picks on running backs. The moves were a bit confusing considering that the Seahawks currently have the dynamic Marshawn Lynch as their No. 1 ball carrier. Upon further review, though, adding some insurance at running back makes some sense.
Let’s take a trip into the future.
It’s 2015 and the Seahawks are facing a predicament in the salary cap department. Lynch is due a $2 million roster bonus and $5.5 million base salary while some of the team’s top playmakers – Richard Sherman, Earl Thomas – need to be re-signed. Meanwhile, other top young talents like Bobby Wagner and Russell Wilson are heading into contract years. Other top talents like Percy Harvin are chewing up the space under the cap at the same.
While they have tons of cheap, elite talent at this point, 2015 is going to offer GM John Schneider quite the challenge.
Considering that, in the future, the Seattle offense will be firmly in Wilson’s grasp and the Seahawks will have a gaggle of young running backs ready to contribute, could Lynch be expendable? Seeing the way the 2013 NFL Draft played out, it’s not out of the realm of possibility.
The Seahawks drafted Texas A&M running back Christine Michael with the No. 62 overall pick and ended up adding LSU power runner Spencer Ware in the sixth round. While Ware is considered a project and possible option at fullback, Michael has the makings of a legitimate No. 1 runner in the NFL.
If Michael realizes his potential and develops all of the physical tools that he’s been given, there’s a good chance that the Seahawks could decide to move on from Lynch in 2015, when he will be heading into his tenth NFL season.
We also can’t forget Robert Turbin, who proved in 2012 that he’s a running back worth keeping around. In the limited snaps he saw, the Utah State product was a tough, decisive runner who picked up consistent chunks of yardage and was a reliable change of pace behind Lynch. Even with Michael and Ware in the mix, Turbin will likely be a significant piece to the puzzle when 2015 rolls around.
For now, Lynch will be the focal point of the Seahawks offense as Michael, Turbin and Ware act as his understudies. The situation could change sooner rather than later, though, regardless of Lynch’s production and effectiveness over the next couple of seasons.
Schneider was planning for the future by drafting two running backs in late April. We’ll see in 2015 if the Seahawks GM has to put his contingency plan into action.