It has been exactly a month since the Super Bowl debacle, and we still don’t know for sure whether Marshawn Lynch will return in 2015 for his sixth season with the Seahawks.
But the signs all seem to indicate he will — even if he apparently thinks Pete Carroll and Darrell Bevell tried to sabotage Lynch’s MVP chances by not handing him the ball on the Seahawks’ final offensive play.
While in Istanbul for American Football Without Barriers, Lynch said he expected and wanted the ball on the final play but had no problem with the fact that he didn’t get it, even though he vaguely referenced the conspiracy theory that arose immediately after the game (probably started by him).
“Yes, I was expecting the ball,” he said on Turkish TV. “But in life, these things happen. Like I told a reporter after the game, it’s a team sport. I had no problem with the decision of the play-calling.
“I think it was more of a — how do I say this? When you look at me, and you let me run that ball in, I am the face of the nation. You know, MVP of the Super Bowl. That’s pretty much the face of the nation at that point of time. I don’t know what went into that call. Maybe it was a good thing that I didn’t get the ball.
“I mean, you know, it cost us the Super Bowl. I have full confidence in my teammates to execute that plan because we’ve done it so many (other) times. But would I love to (have) had the ball there? Yes, I would have. I would have. But the game is over, and I am in Turkey.”
Lynch clearly is no dummy, but to hint that ulterior motives cost the Hawks the Super Bowl is pure ignorance (especially when the media had voted before the game even got to that point).
Setting aside the Super Bowl controversy, all of the signs point to Lynch returning. For one, he is still helping former teammate Breno Giacomini with American Football Without Barriers.
He made a few comments that make it seem like he is still in the present when it comes to the NFL.
In the blog for AFWB, Lynch wrote (edited): “On the field we saw a lot of great potential. Of course, it helped that I was able to teach the quarterbacks how to throw the ball. Maybe I have a career as quarterback after my running back days are over.”
That sure doesn’t sound like a guy who is thinking of retiring right now, does it?
He also said, “The highlight of the day was when a Turkish reporter asked to have a taste of American football. We suited him up, had him sign two waivers and sent him straight into our tackling drill. Of course, I wanted to take it easy on the reporter because I usually have so much to say to them.”
A funny reference to his reticence to speak to reporters in the States. He used present tense, which again indicates his mindset is in the present regarding his football career.
Another sign is the fact that Lynch is still branding himself. He owns or is seeking trademarks around his Beast Mode nickname/apparel company and his two most quoted lines to media during the past two Super Bowls: “I’m just about that action, boss” from 2014 and “I’m just here so I won’t be fined” from this year.
Lynch has turned his silent war with the media into a cottage industry. At the Super Bowl, he forced most interviewers to pimp his clothing brand (and his youth camp in Oakland). He also reportedly did $200,000 worth of business with a pop-up shop selling his apparel in Arizona during Super Bowl week. He also has a biopic in the works, and it obviously would find a wider audience if Lynch were still a relevant sports figure.
Beast Mode is in full marketing mode these days, and it would seem to make little sense for him to retire — particularly when the Seahawks reportedly are offering him $12 million this year and $9 million in 2016.
The AWFB camp in Turkey runs through March 7, so Lynch probably won’t sign his extension until after that. And he certainly won’t say a word about it — at least to any American reporters.
But all signs certainly indicate he will be back.