The release of Zach Miller and double dose of bad news from the Bears-Jets trade Friday was trumped by the great news that Marshawn Lynch is set to return for another season.
After various reports had him making $11 million for one year, $24 million for two years or $31 million for three years, it appears the latter is correct. He will get $12 million in 2015, up from his scheduled $7 million. His cap hit will remain the same, though, at $8.5 million, because he will get $4.5 million in salary and $7.5 million in a signing bonus (he had $1.5 million in bonus proration from his previous deal).
He is signed through 2017, if he chooses to return. He would make $9 million in 2016, counting $11.5 million. He would make $10 million in 2017, including a $3 million roster bonus, and count $12.5 million. If he retires after 2015, the Hawks would take a $5 million cap hit in dead money next year.
Without a doubt, the worst part of the Seahawks last season was the return game — which is why many fans are taking notice every time a team cuts a return specialist these days.
In the last few days, Ted Ginn Jr., Jacoby Jones and Reggie Bush have been cut, but Seattle fans shouldn’t get too excited about any of them. The Hawks can do better.
They certainly need to.
In 2014, they ranked 30th in kickoff returns, at just 21 yards per attempt. And they were 25th on punts, at seven yards.
It was the most pathetic combined return performance by a Seattle team since the 2005 unit, which averaged 27.8 total yards behind kick returner Josh Scobey and punt returner Jimmy Williams and coincidentally also lost the Super Bowl.
You know you are horrible when (a) Bryan “Wave It Off” Walters is your best return guy, (b) it’s a victory just to hold on to the ball and (c) a touchback is typically your best kick return.
Ndamukong Suh, who grew up in Portland, apparently would love to
return to the Northwest and play for the Seahawks. John Schneider and Pete Carroll probably would love to have the dominant defensive tackle, too.
Golden Tate apparently just can’t help but create controversy every time the Seahawks play the Green Bay Packers.
Two seasons ago, it was the Fail Mary touchdown on “Monday Night Football.” Now, as the Hawks prepare to face the Packers in the NFC title game with a chance to return to the Super Bowl without him, Tate has written what amounts to an open letter to Seahawks fans explaining how unhappy he is with the way he was treated when he left Seattle for Detroit.
If the Seahawks are able to sustain their newfound energy and momentum and make a major run through the postseason, a lot of credit will go to the veteran players who pulled the team together after the Kansas City loss. A little more credit will go to coach Pete Carroll and his staff.
But let’s not forget a key figure who has helped keep the Hawks afloat amid injuries and drama this season: John Schneider.
The general manager has had his most active season since 2011, when he was still putting together a competitive team for Carroll.
Russell Wilson has been scuffling along for weeks, fighting a passing slump (we can only hope it is passing) that has been worse than
anything since early in his rookie season.
It’s almost as if he has been enduring the so-called sophomore slump in his junior season.
He played better in Kansas City, seeming to find a little rhythm with his receivers, but he still was unable to rally the Hawks — the third time in Seattle’s four losses he has not been able to win it at the end.
You would think the third-year quarterback would be past that kind of a skid, especially considering all of the trials and tribulations he overcame last season, when he played behind a battered and leaky offensive line against some of the league’s best defenses and still led the Hawks to a Super Bowl title.
Amid reports that some teammates are jealous of quarterback Russell Wilson and that the Seahawks are ready to part ways with Marshawn Lynch, coach Pete Carroll and Wilson declared Sunday after they beat Carolina that the team is not distracted.
“The things that have been said have been said on the outside. We have no problem. No problem,” Carroll said. “Whatever the conversation is, that’s the job of the media to try to figure stuff out. That’s not what’s going on here. I have no problem. It was not a distraction at all. Our guys don’t care about what’s being said.”
In the wake of the Percy Harvin trade and Mike Freeman’s incendiary report on Wilson, the latest revelation is that the Hawks’ relationship with Lynch has reached a breaking point, with the team finally tired of the running back’s antics and Lynch apparently so upset with the team that he is talking about quitting again.
Seattle might even have tried to trade Lynch by Tuesday’s deadline if fullback Derrick Coleman had not suffered a broken foot last week, ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported. With Coleman out, though, the Hawks have to use No. 2 tailback Robert Turbin as their fullback.
The Percy Harvin Debacle was a great lesson for Pete Carroll and John Schneider: They learned just how fragile the psyche of their young Super Bowl team still is.
And they probably learned which other malcontents they are going to need to send packing to make sure their team remains a Super Bowl contender.
This was bound to happen. Carroll and Schneider have flirted with this kind of danger ever since they came to Seattle — bringing in bad apples such as Terrell Owens, Braylon Edwards and Kellen Winslow while courting chuckleheads such as Brandon Marshall and Vincent Jackson.
Adding those kinds of idiots to a young team is always a huge risk — too many impressionable kids on your team. Harvin apparently swung a few of them his way in his 19 months in Seattle.