The last 48 hours have been a roller coaster of emotions in the Pacific Northwest. The Seahawks endured their ugliest loss in recent memory on Sunday to the Arizona Cardinals and lost running backs Chris Carson (hip) and C.J. Prosise (arm) to season-ending injuries in the process.
As a result, Seattle was in the market for two running backs. Fans and media immediately and expectedly (even if it were partially in jest at the time) suggested that the Seahawks needed to give Marshawn Lynch a call, though I’m not sure anyone had any real expectations that it would actually come to fruition.
And yet, Ian Rapoport reported Monday morning that Lynch was on his way to the Virginia Mason Athletic Center for a physical. Pete Carroll went on the radio shortly thereafter and made the potential of Lynch re-signing with the Seahawks sound like a foregone conclusion. By Monday night, the deal became official.
It all appeared to be a perfect storm – and part of it was – but there’s also significant evidence that points to Lynch’s reunion with Seahawks as something that had been brewing for a few weeks.
Let’s start with the fact that Lynch was at the VMAC a few weeks ago, just days after Rashaad Penny tore his ACL against the Los Angeles Rams in Week 14. A Seahawks official notified reporters of the visit but said it was purely personal for Lynch to see old friends and that Seattle had no interest in signing the free agent running back.
However, something happened during that visit to spark what happened next. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero released a story on Monday night immediately following the deal becoming official that detailed the running back’s intense workout regimen in the two weeks since leaving VMAC. Lynch’s longtime trainer, Tareq Azim, said the two “went hood” to get the 33-year-old veteran into playing shape in such short order. Lynch had been away from the game for 14 months since a groin injury ended his 2018 season with the Raiders after just six games.
Lynch had a few things ready to roll out from his end as well. Beast Mode Productions released a YouTube video that featured Lynch discussing a potential reunion with the Seahawks. Lynch mentioned that he was hopeful things would work out but that there were a few things that still needed to fall into place.
“Right now, I’ve been entertaining the idea of maybe going back to play for Seattle for this playoff run,” Lynch said in the video. “A few things have to fall in order.
“At my age, this is a great opportunity to come in and help when needed; get in, do my little thing and get out. Hopefully do my thing and help them get the Super Bowl that they should be playing for.”
It’s evident that at the time of filming, Carson was still healthy.
“They’ve got a great situation going on up there right now. I like the guy they’ve got running for them now,” Lynch said, presumably referring to Carson. “I don’t see me coming in there to be the running back they had five years ago, but just to be able to come in and step in as needed.”
The running back landscape has obviously changed since this idea was originally hatched. Lynch is now likely to be Seattle’s starter for the remainder of the season while splitting carries with Robert Turbin, who was also re-signed by the Seahawks on Monday.
Lynch also discussed how much he enjoys playing football, hinting that he missed the game. Another motivator for his return has been hearing from people all around the world that he should have two rings. That’s obviously a reference to the loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX.
“We’ve got history there,” Lynch said. “We’ve got unfinished business.”
The kicker is that the video was shot at Lynch’s Beast Mode store in Seattle. On that note, Lynch is already selling apparel to commemorate his return.
“Back in action,” reads one of the shirts for sale.
Back in action, indeed. And with the 49ers coming to town in Week 17 for an NFC West-deciding bout, on primetime no less, the thought of Lynch running out of the tunnel at CenturyLink Field in his No. 24 jersey is enough to give any Seahawks fan chills.