It seems like an odd thing to say, but Marshawn Lynch is an icon.
The bastion for absolutely not caring what anybody in the media or the NFL thinks about him, Lynch is a light in the dark for rebelling against the established authority. However, that seems like it is now coming to an end.
This is after Michael Robinson of the NFL Network all but confirmed that Beast Mode won't be returning to the Seattle Seahawks for the 2016 season.
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Speaking to Dave Mahler of 950 KJR Radio in Seattle, Robinson - who considers himself to be Lynch's best friend in football after playing together for four years in Seattle - said it’s likely that Lynch’s time with the Seahawks is over.
“I think it’s fair to assume that,” Robinson said. “I really do and I think for the last few years, whether it’s been bringing in Percy (Harvin), whether it’s been bringing in Jimmy Graham, they’ve been trying to bring in people around Russell (Wilson) so that they don’t necessarily need Marshawn."
"I don’t think that’s a slight to Marshawn, just after a while, a back gets older, still wants more money. A team has to be prepared to get younger at some point. And I think the injury didn’t help this year. The fact that he didn’t get the yards that he usually gets didn’t help this year. So we’ll see.”
Lynch has a lot of wear and tear on his body - as evidenced by the amount of time he missed this season through injury - and the Seahawks seem unwilling to foot the bill for his $9million base salary for 2016.
With Thomas Rawls deputizing so well in Lynch's absence, it seems all but certain that head coach Pete Carroll and the rest of the Seahawks are moving on from Marshawn and making Rawls the new feature back in the Seattle offense.
If Lynch does indeed leave the Seahawks then it marks the end of an era. One where Lynch became a cultural icon and put the Seattle offense on his back to give them the success they enjoyed. Without him, none of it may have been possible.