The majority of news pertaining to the Seattle Seahawks‘ backfield throughout OTAs has centered around Pro Bowl running back Marshawn Lynch‘s continued absence from team activities. While the man known simply as “Beast Mode” has notoriously refrained from media comment throughout his stellar career, sources close to the situation speculate that Lynch’s absence has been a ploy for job security.
Lynch has two years remaining on the extension he signed when he arrived in Seattle, but the Seahawks’ star back has arguably outplayed that contract being commonly referred to as the second-best runner in the NFL. Coming off of a dominant season capped by a 43-8 Super Bowl victory over the AFC Champion Denver Broncos, Lynch stood by quietly as free safety Earl Thomas and cornerback Richard Sherman received contracts of historic proportions.
Additionally, defensive end Michael Bennett and wide receiver Doug Baldwin were the proud recipients of respectable-sized contract extensions. With that in mind, it may be fair that Lynch is wondering where his reward is. After all, coaches and teammates alike will certainly admit that Lynch is the tone-setter for the entire team. He clearly shoulders the load on offense, averaging over 300 carries a year since arriving in the Pacific Northwest from Buffalo.
Plus, the Seahawks’ notorious defense seemingly feeds off of Lynch’s inspirational Beast Mode runs. Often times with this team, a spectacular offensive series is followed up by a timely defensive stop, particularly while playing in front of the famous 12th Man in Seattle. So maybe Lynch had a point when he began an offseason holdout.
Regardless, all of that possible holdout business is over. According to several Seahawk representatives, the Beast is in the building and ready to go. At this point, no one is entirely sure what led to Lynch’s change of heart, but it seems he has returned to team facilities as a show of good faith in hopes of working out some form of contract extension.
It will be interesting to see how carries will be divided going forward this preseason as well. Head coach Pete Carroll has been quite vocal in his approval of 2013 second-round draft pick Christine Michael, who has been taking the majority of the first-team practice reps in Lynch’s absence. According to Carroll, Michael is miles ahead of where he was last season in terms of pass-protection and his understanding of Seattle’s offense. With third-year back Robert Turbin in the mix as well, there should be no shortage of competition in the Seahawks’ backfield. Just don’t expect Beast Mode to relinquish his top dog status easily.