6 Landing Spots For Marshawn Lynch if He Unretires
Marshawn Lynch shocked the NFL world earlier this off-season when he decided to call it quits via Twitter, giving a peace sign along with a photo of hanging up his cleats:
— Shawn Lynch (@MoneyLynch) February 8, 2016
Lynch’s abrupt retirement appeared to be accepted by the Seattle Seahawks, who moved on by drafting two new running backs and promoting guys who were formerly backups to Beast Mode – Thomas Rawls and Christine Michael.
Of course, given Lynch’s history for being an unpredictable personality, many have questioned if his retirement will stick. He’s even reportedly told some former teammates that he may want to come back.
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) May 26, 2016
The 30-year old star rusher didn’t enjoy a great 2015 run due to injury, but it stands to reason he could quickly regain his 2014 form, should he be at full strength and want to return.
Per reports, however, if he did decide to return, a reunion with the Seahawks probably isn’t in the cards. For one, Lynch is another year older, didn’t enjoy a strong 2015 season, could now be an injury risk and also costs a hefty $9 million on the books.
As beloved as Beast Mode is in Seattle’s locker room, it’s perhaps his antics have worn thin, and it’s just as likely that he could desire a change of scenery after the debacle at the end of Super Bowl 49, where the Seahawks opted to throw a short slant instead of feed Lynch the ball at the goal-line.
Whatever the take may be, Seattle is probably already moved on from Lynch, and if he did opt to return, they’d likely either cut or trade him.
With that being the likely reality, it’s fair to wonder where Lynch could wind up in 2016, if he does in fact decide he’s not done playing just yet. Let’s take a look at six logical landing spots:
New England Patriots
The Patriots endured numerous injuries to their offensive backfield in 2015 and could be in the market for a more proven option behind Tom Brady. Beast Mode may not necessarily want to go play with the team he last faced in the Super Bowl, but if he wants another ring, he could give it some thought.
The Pats certainly have the need and hold much respect for Lynch, so if he’s made free on the open market, they could be the top team that goes after him. He’d have a huge role from day one and could have a good shot at playing in a third Super Bowl.
Baltimore might be the next best bet, as they are another team that struggled through injuries a year ago, but arguably still have all the tools to make a deep playoff run.
Justin Forsett didn’t really work as the featured back in 2015 and it’s possible Baltimore could already be willing to move in a different direction. Lynch would give them a massive upgrade at running back and give them a power running game they’ve lacked for years. In the bruising AFC North division, Beast Mode could be the difference between chasing a division title or missing the playoffs for the second year in a row.
Detroit needs to do something on offense to make up for the loss of Calvin Johnson, so why not give their running game a major shot in the arm by bringing in a likely future Hall of Famer?
Ameer Abdullah has not panned out as hoped and the Lions don’t have much else in their offensive backfield to get excited about, so bringing in the bruising Lynch could give them a huge lift. An enhanced rushing attack would surely ease some of the pressure off of Matthew Stafford and the running game and would give the Lions a truly balanced offense for the first time in a while.
New York Giants
Rashad Jennings is currently New York’s main answer at running back these days, and that probably tells you all you need to know about their offense. Jennings can be fine in spots, but he’s inconsistent and injury-prone.
Lynch would give the G-Men a more reliable presence behind Eli Manning and a clutch masher who has enjoyed a lot of playoff success. Considering the Giants have struggled to run the ball for the past few years, it could be the big move they need to make to turn themselves back into a legit playoff contender.
San Diego Chargers
Melvin Gordon was a total bust as a rookie last year and after off-season knee surgery, there is serious doubt that he’ll ever be the answer for the Bolts. Even if he still is, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to beef up the position with a proven veteran that can lead the way for now and help Gordon mature along the way.
San Diego hasn’t had an elite ground game on a regular basis since the days of LaDainian Tomlinson, so going after a West Coast guy could be a good move. It’d give the Chargers a legit rusher in a tough AFC West division and could vault them to division title contention.
Miami is another realistic spot, where Lynch could play his final pro days out under the sun in South Beach. The Dolphins also badly need some help at running back, as injury-prone second-year runner Jay Ajayi is their only real answer at the moment.
Adam Gase heads a very interesting Miami offense that could be capable of big things – especially if Lynch were added to the mix. Not only could Lynch push Miami up a notch or two, but he could also get a kick out of taking on his former team – the Buffalo Bills – twice a year.
Think Lynch is going somewhere else, back to Seattle or is indeed done for good? Tell us in the comments below!
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