Marshawn Lynch tweeted out a photo Sunday night during the Super Bowl of his cleats hanging from a telephone wire, with a peace emoji, presumably announcing his retirement from the NFL after nine seasons.
Of course Lynch would announce his retirement this way.
— Shawn Lynch (@MoneyLynch) February 8, 2016
There was no formal announcement, but all signs point to the former California Golden Bear leaning towards retirement. This stems from contract issues as well as a back injury. Lynch turns 30 this year. Could another reason be that Pete Carroll did not give Lynch the ball from the half-yard line in last year’s Super Bowl, which ultimately led to the game-costing interception? That’s a possibility that we may never know.
Lynch enjoyed a successful NFL career. He was drafted with the 12th overall pick in the 2007 draft by the Buffalo Bills. He was traded to the Seattle Seahawks during the 2010 season and then his career really took off. During his time with the Seahawks, Lynch rushed for 5,774 yards and a league-best 51 touchdowns. “Beast Mode” was the nickname given to Lynch after showing tremendous power by barreling over defenders, including one of his most famous ones in the playoffs against the New Orleans Saints.
After never making the playoffs with the Bills, Lynch took full advantage of the spotlight in the postseason. He has six 100-yard playoff games, trailing only Terrell Davis and Emmitt Smith. He helped lead Seattle to a Super Bowl in the 2013 season in a 43-8 dismantling of the Denver Broncos. Who could forget the media surrounding Lynch during the playoffs where he kept giving the same answer of “I’m only here so I don’t get fined”? Lynch was as unconventional as it gets and did things on his terms. He didn’t like speaking to the media due to how he felt they treated him in the past. He took a stand for something he believed in.
Some will question whether or not this is smart on the part of Mr. Lynch, as he will eventually have to repay the Seahawks the signing bonus he signed. Now if the Seahawks cut Lynch, he will get all the money owed to him, which is $9 million next season. Lynch has made a boatload of money playing football in the NFL, but has not spent a single penny of it. He has made $49.7 million from his work on the field, but has spent his endorsement money his career. Forbes reported that Lynch makes about $5 million per-year from various endorsements, including Skittles, his favorite candy. Teammates have said he tries to help the guys on the team with their 401k plans.
Lynch finishes his career with 2,144 carries for 9,112 yards and 74 touchdowns. He made the Pro Bowl five times and was an All-Pro in 2012. He is the third-leading rusher in Seahawks’ history.
This is the second time in the past week that a superstar NFL player has decided to retire as Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson is set to retire at the age 29. This could be a reoccurring theme in the NFL due to the violent nature of the game and all the money that is thrown at the players. More and more guys could realize that the money isn’t worth the risk of not being able to walk or function later on in life. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell doesn’t think that more players are deciding to retire because of player safety issues. He claimed it was due to these players making personal decisions about what they want to do. Player safety has been a hot topic over the last few years and with these players retiring early, it will only magnify the situation.
At the end of the day, Marshawn Lynch decided that it was time to hang up his cleats, literally. While only Lynch and those close to him know, player safety could have been an issue in his decision.
Farewell, “Beast Mode.” Enjoy retirement and thank you for the memories.