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Marshawn Lynch retires after nine seasons

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NFL fans expecting high-profile retirement news Sunday evening were thrown for a loop when Marshawn Lynch upstaged Peyton Manning.

In typical taciturn Lynch style, he simply tweeted a peace emoji with a picture of his cleats suspended from a telephone wire, suggesting he's hanging them up for good.

Although Lynch offered no official announcement, Seahawks owner Paul Allen and Beast Mode's agent Doug Hendrickson both offered gratitude to the running back on Twitter on Monday.

The news comes as no surprise. Embroiled in contract squabbles, Lynch has weighed retirement in each of the past two offseasons.

Seahawks general manager John Schneider acknowledged two weeks ago that Lynch was leaning toward calling it a career after a disappointing, injury-ravaged season in which he was outplayed by impressive rookie Thomas Rawls.

It was just a year ago that Lynch was drawing raves as the best running back in football after leading the league in rushing touchdowns for two consecutive seasons.

The driving force on one of the best rushing attacks of the 21st century, Lynch was also the tone-setter for the most successful era in franchise history.

The Seahawks have long been blessed with dynamic running backs, from Curt Warner in the 1980s, through Chris Warren and Ricky Watters in the 1990s to Shaun Alexander last decade. Even if Alexander's Seattle peak lasted longer, Lynch offered more memorable moments, highlighted by his famous "Beast Quake" breakthrough in a playoff upset over the Saints.

As a colorful character and the most consistently productive postseason power back of his generation, Lynch will present an interesting Hall of Fame case despite his relatively short career.

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