For much of the 2014 season, there were reports that Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks star running back, was not happy in Seattle. Some suggested that he might be on his way out when the season ended, with speculation that he might either retire or that he might test the market to land on another team. Despite the field distractions off the field, Lynch enjoyed a tremendous season on the field of play, rushing for 1,306 yards, with a combined 19 touchdowns both rushing and receiving. Ultimately, those reports that he was itching to get out of Seattle also proved false as well, as Lynch ultimately signed an extension with the Seahawks, only days after finally breaking his silence on the controversial 2nd & 1 call at the end of the Super Bowl.
Lynch has been a huge part of the success that the Seahawks have enjoyed the last couple of seasons, being the symbol of the team’s physicality. Despite the controversies swirling around Lynch, Seattle made it all the way back to the Super Bowl and had a rare opportunity to secure back-to-back titles with a win over the Patriots. In a tight contest, Seattle had the ball one yard away from a winning touchdown with just 26 seconds left, and most viewers expected Lynch to get the ball and pound it into the end zone on 2nd & 1. Of course, that is not how things worked out. The call instead was to pass the ball, and Wilson’s pass, which was intended for wide receiver Ricardo Lockette, ended up being intercepted by New England cornerback Malcolm Butler instead, icing the championship for the Patriots.
That was a controversial call, and there were some suggestions that the call was made deliberately to prevent Lynch from obtaining the Super Bowl MVP award. When asked about the call by a reporter immediately after the game ended, Lynch simply said that football was a team sport. Otherwise, he remained silent on the call and the game until earlier this month, when he finally broke his silence just a little more than a week before signing this extension with Seattle.
In an interview with a Turkish reporter while Lynch was visiting the country to promote American football, he admitted that he expected to get the ball on that play in the final seconds of the Super Bowl. He still understood that it is a team sport, however, and said that he really did not have any understanding of everything that went into the call, implying that politics may have played a part in the decision making. Lynch suggested that he would have been the face of the nation at that moment, if he had scored the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl, and that some people might have felt uncomfortable with someone with his controversial image having that kind of sway. Still, he had full confidence in his teammates, and said that they had successfully executed that play numerous times before. Ultimately, he said that he had no problem with the 2nd & 1 decision that cost the Seahawks the Super Bowl.
The deal was reached yesterday and secures the services of Lynch for Seattle at least through the 2016 season for a reported $25 million, with an estimated $12 million guaranteed. General Manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll reported the news with tremendous enthusiasm, saying that the franchise needed Lynch’s physicality in the running game, which defined the Seahawks offensive approach. Carroll also suggested that Lynch understood the infamous 2nd & 1 Super Bowl call that sparked such controversy after the game. The usually reticent Lynch has broken his silence regarding that controversial 2nd & 1 Super Bowl call, and has also now signed the extension with the Seahawks that keeps him in Seattle for at least the next two years.
By Charles Bordeau
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