Marshawn Lynch will once again lead the Seattle Seahawks backfield when the 2015 NFL season gets under way this fall, but for a period earlier on this year that outcome wasn't all that secure.
With numerous contract upgrades on the horizon and some speculation that Seattle's decision to overlook Lynch on the final play of Super Bowl XLIX was part of a wider conspiracy, it looked for a time that the running back may not return to CenturyLink Field - or the NFL at all.
Responding to the rumors
Speaking last night on the Conan O'Brien show, Lynch opened up about just how true those rumors of retirement were, whilst also making it pretty clear just how Seattle managed to convince him to go again in 2015.
"I mean, you know, in this game, you know, at this running back position, you don't go that long," Lynch said of contemplating the idea of retirement.
Although walking away from the game may have crossed his mind it sounds like the dollar signs were just too much for Marshawn 'Money' Lynch to turn down.
"But, I mean, they put 12 in front of you for a year you start to think like 'Yeah, maybe I can do this again.'"
That $12 million season is part of a deal that, theoretically, secures Lynch's future in Seattle until 2017 when the RB will be 31-years-old.
On his mind
There is, though, still the prospect that Marshawn Lynch decides to walk away from the deal at any point before the 2017 campaign. And, having heard him speak openly about the fact that retirement isn't too far from his mind, that thought will linger on in the minds of Seattle fans every time the offseason rolls around.
With the perennial Pro- Bowler having racked up 5,357 yards since arriving at the Seahawks in 2011 his role in the franchise's offense cannot be underestimated. Although Jimmy Graham has arrived to offer Russell Wilson another option, Lynch knows how important he is to the team.
Fortunately for all involved at the Seahawks, he is more than happy to reap the rewards that value brings - for the time being at least.
Seahawks fans: How many more years can Marshawn Lynch remain an elite running back, and what is Plan B? Have your say in the comments below...
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