The Seahawks announced on Sunday evening that they had reached a contract extension with RB Marshawn Lynch.
According to Jay Glazer of Fox Sports, the agreement is a four-year deal for $32 million. Of that, $18 million is guaranteed. Lynch was set to be an unrestricted free agent on March 13.
The 25-year-old Lynch was acquired by Seattle in October of 2010 following a trade with the Bills. He had a career-year in 2011, rushing for 1,204 yards and 12 touchdowns on 285 carries.
"We have big plans for him being with us," head coach Pete Carroll said in a statement. "He knows that. And he understands that. And we're just working it out right now."
"We are excited to keep Marshawn as an important part of what we are building," Seahawks GM John Schneider said. "This is what we were hoping for when we acquired him from Buffalo."
The way we see it
Just when it looked like tagging RBs with the franchise designation was becoming a trend (Ray Rice, Matt Forté), the tables have turned with Lynch and Texans star RB Arian Foster closing out the weekend by signing lucrative new deals. With Lynch, who has to qualify now as the face of the Seahawks' franchise, in the fold, the Seahawks are expected to turn their attention to free agents Red Bryant, Michael Robinson and possibly David Hawthorne and John Carlson in no particular order.
Bryant, considered a core performer both on and off the field, is a candidate for the franchise tag now that Lynch has re-signed, but the $10.4 million tag number for defensive ends seems a bit too steep an investment at this stage of the offseason. It would be an unusual occurrence if the Seahawks ended up not using the franchise tag, only twice avoiding its usage since 2000. The team did not use the franchise tag last year, however.
Lynch got his payday. Now we have to see if he can fulfill expectations without a big payday at the end of the tunnel motivating him. He ended the season with an average 21.7 utilizations for 94.4 yards from scrimmage and 0.87 TDs in 15 games.
Lynch is young and hitting his prime and should have his most productive years ahead of him for dynasty owners. However, some will wonder if he's a one-year wonder. If you believe that, then now is the best time to seek a trade for him or let someone else take a risk on him on draft day. However, his offensive should return to health in 2012 and has depth, so there's no reason he can't perform like a No. 1 back. Right now he's a late first- or early second-round pick.