Marshawn Lynch is busy with other endeavors as the NFL plays on without him. The Seahawks are chasing a Super Bowl with a stable of solid running backs not named Lynch supporting Russell Wilson in their offense. There’s no reason to believe either situation will change in 2020.
Of course, the same could have been said at this point last year, well before Seattle signed Lynch before its season-finale because of compounding injuries at running back. When it comes to the player known as “Beast Mode,” anything can happen.
Lynch turned 34 in April, and he proved in his short time with the Seahawks last season he is still capable of producing at least in short-yardage situations. He scored 3 rushing touchdowns in Seattle’s pair of playoff games in January to add to his lone regular-season score in Week 17.
Which means Lynch surely would be an option for Seattle should it find itself in another bind at the position. Until then, though, don’t expect another “Beast Mode” return in 2020 even though he technically is not retired.
Below is everything to know about Lynch’s playing status in 2020, including his latest tease at a potential return down the road.
Is Marshawn Lynch playing in 2020?
No — at least not yet. Lynch is still listed by the NFL as an unrestricted free agent, but that could change if a team (the Seahawks or another) decides it needs his services at some point in 2020.
The contract Lynch signed to return to the Seahawks in December was for the 2019 season only. He earned the league minimum ($60,588) for his Week 17 appearance and an additional $62,000 for his work in the Seahawks’ two playoff games.
Lynch is 34. If he were to join a team and play in 2020, it would mark his 13th season playing in the NFL.
Is Marshawn Lynch retired?
No — at least not yet. Of course, Lynch’s retirement status isn’t much of a factor considering he once returned to the NFL after officially retiring earlier in his career.
That retirement situation played out in February of 2016 when Lynch, still with the Seahawks at the time, announced his departure from football with a tweet during Super Bowl 50. Seattle made it official that May when it placed Lynch on the reserve-retired list. In June of 2016, “Beast Mode” confirmed he was done with football.
Things changed quickly in the spring of 2017 when the Raiders found themselves needing help at running back. An Oakland, Calif., native, Lynch in early April of that year told what was then his hometown team he would come out of retirement to play for the Raiders. The Seahawks still held the rights to Lynch but agreed to work out a trade that would send Lynch to Oakland.
Lynch played two seasons for the Raiders before he became a free agent in 2019. At the time, he reportedly was “not planning to play football again.” This time, though, Lynch was not officially retired. Which left the door open for his eventual return late in the year.
That’s the situation Lynch finds himself in again in 2020 — not retired, but also not exactly waiting for a call from Seattle or elsewhere.
Will Marshawn Lynch return to the Seahawks?
More than anything, this depends on the Seahawks’ health at running back.
Seattle likes Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde as its top two backs with Travis Homer and DeeJay Dallas providing depth. Last season, the Seahawks only signed Lynch because Homer quickly became the only healthy running back on their roster; Carson, C.J. Prosise and Rashaad Penny had been lost to season-ending injuries.
As of early May, Lynch was keeping a return to Seattle on the table as an option in 2020. He even told ESPN his agent had been in talks with the Seahawks.
“Well, it’s almost on that ‘expect the unexpected,'” Lynch said when asked about his future. “But just as far as right now, what I do know is, Imma keep it solid. …
“We’ll see what happens. If it works out and I get back up there, it is what it is. And if not, s—, I’m lookin’ good. So I ain’t really trippin’ too much.”
Nor should he be. Lynch has produced a playing career that may or may not land him in the Pro Football Hall of Fame soon after he retires for real. And if his sign-off from the Seahawks after their playoff loss to the Packers in the divisional round last season ends up being his sign-off as a football player, it will have been the perfect ending.
Take care of y’all’s chicken.