Rest easy, Seahawks fans. The Beast is back. After holding out of training camp for over a week, Marshawn Lynch has reported to the VMAC. The often-unorthodox running back arrived at the Seahawks training facility this afternoon, much to the delight of fans and reporters. This comes as a bit of a surprise because most people were thinking that this holdout would last through mid-to-late August. It’s even more shocking that Beast Mode showed up because the Seahawks didn’t give him any new money or a new contract. So the Hawks kept to their plan…sort of. Money was moved around in the remaining two years of Lynch’s contract to make it more appealing for the running back. Here is a quick breakdown of Marshawn’s “new deal”:
- On top of his $5 million base salary in 2014, Lynch will also receive an additional $1 million that was previously incentive-money ($500,000 for per-game roster bonuses and $500,000 for rushing for over 1,500 yards).
- The Seahawks also moved $500,000 of his incentives from 2015 to his guaranteed 2014 salary.
- Lynch is now scheduled to make a guaranteed $6.5 million in 2014.
- He is also eligible to make $7.5 million in 2015.
- The team has waived all of his fines for missing camp
Lynch had threatened to hold out of mandatory OTA’s (Offseason Training Activities) earlier in the year because he was unhappy with his contract, but ended up showing up. But then former Seahawk and Lynch’s good friend Michael Robinson reported last week that Marshawn would hold out of training camp for the same reason above. The issue was that Lynch wanted more upfront money because, in today’s game, running backs, even the best ones, tend to have very brief careers. The above deal did that for Lynch without giving him any new money. So it’s a win-win situation for both sides. Beast Mode gets the upfront money he desired and the Hawks get one of the best running backs in football back without reworking his contract too much. Even better, the organization didn’t set a bad precedent by giving Lynch a new deal. Technically, Lynch is still “honoring his contract” because the money he is receiving was already taken into account.
It’s uncertain if Seattle will hang on to Lynch after this year as he will be turning 29 next offseason – an age where running backs’ careers often begin to decline, especially if they run as violently as Beast Mode. But it is certainly very comforting knowing that he will be wearing blue and green this season.
Marshawn has been the center of the Seahawks offense since he joined the team in the middle of the 2010 season. When GM John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll signed Lynch, they knew they wanted to build the entire team around his running game. Since then, he has amassed 4,624 yards and 45 touchdowns on his way to leading the squad to a 36-24 record (excluding playoffs). His physical running style has completely changed the culture of this organization. The run-first and hit-em-in-the-mouth mentality of the current Seahawks was practically trademarked by Marshawn Lynch himself. In all seriousness, without Lynch, the revitalization of the Seahawks under Pete Carroll would have taken a lot longer.
Simply put, everybody loves Beast Mode and the Hawks don’t win the Super Bowl last year without him.
Expect Lynch’s carries to decrease once again this year, as the Seahawks begin the transition into the “Christine Michael era.” But having (at least) one more year of Beast Mode leading the rushing attack gives Michael a chance to ease his way into the offense without throwing him into the fire.
Ah…the Beast is back…and all is well! Below is his highlight video from last season.