Around the NFL  

 

Marshawn Lynch entering final season with Seahawks?

Now that Marshawn Lynch has ended his ill-fated holdout, we are left to wonder if he is joining teammates in Seahawks training camp for the last time.

On Wednesday's edition of the Around The League Podcast, we floated the idea that Lynch has been angling for a new contract because he realizes he could be a salary-cap casualty next season. In fact, Lynch had $500,000 in 2015 bonuses converted to base salary this year as part of a compromise to return.

Why would the Seahawks cut ties next offseason with a valuable player often viewed as the face of the franchise?

There are several reasons.

NFL teams don't pay big money to running backs looking down the barrel of age 30. Lynch is scheduled to earn upward of $7 million in salary and bonuses at age 29 in 2015.

That's a lot of scratch to dole out for a violent back with 1,002 smashmouth carries under his belt over the last three seasons. It's even an bigger hurdle when the salary-cap vice begins to tighten.

Quarterback Russell Wilson is due to collect a mega contract in the neighborhood of $20 million annually next offseason. That's not all -- key defenders Cliff Avril, K.J. Wright, Malcolm Smith and Byron Maxwell are all entering the final year of their contracts.

A study I recently conducted revealed that age 27 is the peak year for established NFL starting running backs. According to ESPN Stats & Information, running-back production historically decreases by 15 percent at age 28, 25 percent at age 29 and 40 percent by the age-30 wall.

The Seahawks have recently drafted Robert Turbin and Christine Michael, preparing for Lynch's decline phase and the possibility of his body breaking down.

With an "explosive talent" like Michael bracing for a breakout 2014 season, Lynch could be viewed as a luxury rather than a necessity when the salary-cap crunch forces the Seahawks' hand in 2015.

The latest Around The League Podcast talks about the good and bad out of Cowboys camp, then plays the "What's More Likely?" game.

Fan Discussion

NFL News
CONTENT
15