“Beast Mode” is getting paid.
Marshawn Lynch is receiving a hefty raise for at least one more season in the Seattle Seahawks backfield.
Lynch signed a two-year extension with the Seahawks on Friday that keeps him under contract with Seattle through the 2017 season, but more importantly includes a massive raise for the 2015 season. Lynch’s restructured deal will pay him $12 million for 2015, according to his agent Doug Hendrickson.
Lynch agreed to his new deal Friday after meeting with Seahawks officials. Hendrickson said the deal includes an additional $24 million for the 2016 and 2017 seasons should Lynch continue his career into his 30s.
He is coming off arguably the best season of his career. He scored a career-high 17 total touchdowns, including 13 rushing. He rushed for 1,306 yards in the regular season and added another 318 yards in three postseason games. Lynch had 102 yards rushing and a touchdown in the Super Bowl.
At the NFL combine last month in Indianapolis, Seattle coach Pete Carroll acknowledged having made a significant offer to Lynch for 2015. Lynch was scheduled to make $7 million for the 2015 season.
“We have been in earnest a great deal of time now negotiating to get Marshawn back with us in every way that we can,” Carroll said at the combine. “It’s been an ongoing, long process and we have had big offers out and we continue to work with that. We are excited about the future.”
The biggest lingering question was whether Lynch would return at age 29 or if he was done playing football. Lynch’s returned was complicated by the decision on Seattle’s final offensive play of the Super Bowl against New England – a pass instead of asking Lynch to try and score from the 1 – and if there was any lingering effect. Russell Wilson’s pass was intercepted by Malcolm Butler and Seattle was denied a second straight title, leaving itself open to second-guessing for why Carroll and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell chose not to give the ball to Lynch.
During an interview with a television station in Turkey last week – where Lynch was taking part in an American Football Without Borders camp – Lynch said he was expecting to get the ball on Seattle’s final offensive play. He added he didn’t have a problem with the play call.
Aside from the decision in the Super Bowl, it became progressively more difficult through last season to imagine the Seahawks without Lynch in their backfield. Lynch rushed for more than 100 yards five times and was the most consistent piece of the Seahawks’ offense that has won two straight NFC championships.
He has rushed for at least 1,200 yards in each of his four full seasons with the Seahawks, and had at least 11 touchdowns rushing. In 75 regular-season games with Seattle, Lynch has rushed for 5,930 yards and 54 touchdowns.
With Lynch secured for the 2015 season, running back no longer becomes a major need for Seattle. It will eventually need to find an heir to Lynch, but that position would no longer appear to be a priority.
SOURCE: The Associated Press