Appearing Friday on Seattle's KIRO-AM, general manager John Schneider said he is under the impression that Lynch is leaning toward retirement after a disappointing 2015 season. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport added he's under that impression as well.
Schneider said the Seahawks intend to "treat (Lynch) with as much respect as we possibly can here and give him a little leeway to kind of find his way in terms of what he wants to do."
Coach Pete Carroll acknowledged early this week that Lynch's future in Seattle is up in the air.
"It is very clear he's not going to be a member of the Seahawks for $11.5 million, which is his salary for 2016," Rapoport explained on Friday's edition of Around The NFL, adding that Lynch is unlikely to accept a pay cut.
Rapoport also revealed that all parties involved expected Lynch to stay in Seattle for just one more season when he signed a two-year extension last March.
Lynch will owe the organization $5 million from his signing bonus if he retires, per Pro Football Talk. The Seahawks can save $6.5 million against their salary cap by releasing the 29-year-old power runner and turning the backfield over to dynamic second-year back Thomas Rawls.
It was just a year ago that Lynch was drawing raves as the best running back in football, but it's no surprise that he would seriously contemplate hanging up his cleats after nine NFL seasons.
"Beast Mode" has always been wired a bit differently. Having saved his money, he could decide it's not worth the pounding to join a new team at a significantly reduced salary.
"He's a guy that kind of beats to his own drum," Schneider pointed out last February. "He does what he wants. He would never let you know one way or the other. There's been a lot of great running backs that have just walked away. So I have no idea."
If Lynch does walk away from the gridiron, perhaps he can fulfill his potential as a financial analyst.