Marshawn Lynch is reportedly interested in returning to the NFL, and the Raiders are reportedly interested in signing him. Lynch turns 31 this month and hasn’t played since 2015, when he rushed for just 417 yards (3.8 yards per carry) and three touchdowns in seven games.
Is Lynch returning to the NFL a legitimate possibility?
“I don’t know if it’s possible,” Seattle Times columnist Matt Calkins said on CBS Sports Radio’s Ferrall on the Bench. “Maybe it is. Maybe he feels a little rejuvenated, but I’m also not completely convinced that he’s been training every day at an NFL-caliber rate. And listen, (former players) say once you leave the NFL for a year, that ability to be hit and to want to be hit and to hit kind of loses you. We forget how brutal that sport is and the punishment these guys take every day, especially Marshawn Lynch, who was probably the most respected guy in the Seahawks’ locker room simply because he was able to absorb all that contact in a way that nobody else on the team really did. Might he be rejuvenated? Yeah, I guess it’s possible, but he’s still older, and even if you’ve taken a year off, your body is still aging. So I just wonder if he still truly has the desire deep down or if he just kind of misses the spotlight right now and is kind of throwing his name out there. You never know with Marshawn. He’s so unpredictable, so mercurial, that I’m not going to give you a definitive answer one way or another. I would still bet against him being on the 53-man roster when the season starts.”
Lynch was one of the most productive backs in football, rushing for 1,200+ yards and double-digit touchdowns in four straight seasons from 2011-14. But he – and the Seahawks – haven’t been the same since a Super Bowl XLIX loss to the Patriots.
The Seahawks, of course, opted to throw, not run, on 1st-and-goal from the 1 in the final minute. Russell Wilson’s pass was picked off by Malcolm Butler.
Scott Ferrall thought that was the dumbest decision in coaching history.
“I wrote that at the time,” Calkins said. “That was my column: That was the dumbest play-call in the history of the Super Bowl. There have been times where the more I think about it, maybe it wasn’t quite as dumb. That year, Marshawn Lynch had five plays in which he ran from the 1 and needed one yard to get a touchdown or a first down, and he was stuffed on all but one of them. So he didn’t really have a history of it. And remember, the Patriots threw on 1st-and-1 in this last Super Bowl and that ball was nearly intercepted. Nobody really said anything. It’s been done before. So purely statistically, it wasn’t all that stupid, but if you’re just in the moment, if you see what Marshawn was doing that day, if you saw the second half he was having and the way the Seahawks were riding him, then I think it’s probably not the smartest thing because you out-smarted yourself or you out-thought yourself a little bit, and that’s what Carroll did.”
Lynch rushed 24 times for 102 yards and a touchdown in the 28-24 loss.
“And if you look at the ramifications, the Seahawks have never really been the same since,” Calkins said. “They were one yard away from their second straight Super Bowl, and now they’ve had two years in which they’ve failed to get to the NFC Championship game and their chemistry is sort of unraveling. You see guys like Richard Sherman spouting off, saying don’t throw the ball from the 1 and starting all these problems. So the ramifications from that one play continue to live on, and it’s pretty fascinating.”