Doug Hendrickson, the agent for Marshawn Lynch, said the running back never wanted to leave Seattle and has not mentioned retirement to him, and Seahawks general manager John Schneider pushed a contract extension hard starting the day after the Super Bowl.
Talking to KJR Radio about Lynch’s three-year, $31 million contract, Hendrickson said Lynch was Seattle’s first priority and Schneider called him the day after the Seahawks lost the Super Bowl — by not running Lynch at the goal line — and started talking about getting Lynch’s deal extended.
“They wanted to get it done, and they wanted to get it done fast,” Hendrickson said.
Hendrickson said he thought Pete Carroll’s decision to eschew Lynch on the final play, which ended in an interception, might have swayed Lynch into not wanting to return.
But Hendrickson pointed out that Lynch — while perhaps shocked that he did not get the ball — never pointed fingers. “He was frustrated but not to the point of jumping off a bridge.”
While it was an issue for most of the people who watched, including Hendrickson, the agent said, “For (Lynch), it never was. For Seattle, it never was. They wanted to move forward right afterward. ‘No time to grieve.'”
Lynch addressed the last play in a TV interview in Turkey earlier this week, saying he would have liked to have gotten the ball and expected to get it. But he did not criticize the coaches, other than a cryptic reference about being MVP.
“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,” he said. “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.”
Hendrickson denied Lynch meant the Seattle coaches were trying to avoid having him win MVP, and the agent said Lynch probably was referencing the fact that he would not have been interested in doing any of the corporate events that go with being MVP, such as “going to Disney World” and meeting with media.
Hendrickson dismissed reports that Lynch does not get along with the coaches, saying Lynch and Carroll “have a good working relationship” and Lynch has no problem with play caller Darrell Bevell. (That last part may or may not be true — the agent obviously is not going to rip the team right after it paid his client — and him — a bunch of money.)
As for the future, Hendrickson said Lynch “takes it year by year.” The agent said he would not be surprised if Lynch plays all three years of the deal — and he wouldn’t be surprised if he retires next year. (Basically, we will be looking at a Brett Favre situation every offseason, just like this one.)
Either way, Hendrickson said there will be no further need for contract adjustments: “This deal puts him at the top of the market. There’s no more negotiations. We did that twice this last year (the Hawks bumped Lynch’s pay in July).”
Hendrickson said the 28-year-old Lynch feels great — even though his back is a constant “work in progress” — and the running back will start training in a couple of weeks.
“He’s raring to go,” Hendrickson said. “He’s got one intent next year and that’s to get back to Santa Clara-San Francisco and get the Hawks back (in the Super Bowl) again for the third time in a row.”