Extra Points: Lynch retires the retirement talk

(SportsNetwork.com) – You can’t say “Beast Mode” is back because he never
really left.

Anyone who thought Marshawn Lynch might walk away from the NFL in the prime of
his career was being a bit naive.

Yeah, Marshawn might march to the beat of a different drummer on a lot of
issues but he conforms like the rest of us when it comes to the most important
one of all — money.

The superstar was just looking for a better pay day and he got it on Friday
when the Seahawks agreed to terms on a new deal which will put Lynch in
rarified air when it comes to the running back position.

Lynch will reportedly be paid $12 million in 2015, with all of that guaranteed
— $7.5 million in a signing bonus along with a $4.5 million base salary. His
base salary increases to $9 million in 2016 and then ticks down a but to $7
million by ’17 plus a $3 million roster bonus that will kick in on the fifth
day of the league year.

Lynch was originally scheduled to make $7 million before the re-do in what was
to be the final year of a four-year contract.

Like most NFL deals, the new agreement is a glorified one-year contract but
it’s also a darn good one, especially in this era where running backs continue
to be devalued.

If Lynch continues to perform at the level the Seahawks have become accustomed
to, the mercurial one certainly will not be happy with the numbers on the back
end of the deal and he will expect things to be revisited again in 365 days.
And if the All-Pro falls off, Seattle can easily walk away from the final two
years.

Lynch just finished another stellar season which ended in a bit of controversy
when Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell eschewed giving his bell
cow the ball at the goal-line in the waning seconds of Super Bowl XLIX, a
decision that resulted in a game-stealing interception by the New England
Patriots and cost Seattle a second straight Super Bowl crown.

“To be honest with you, I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that I was
expecting the ball,” Lynch said in an interview with a Turkish media outlet.
“Yes, I was expecting the ball. But in life, these things happen. Like I told
a reporter after the game, it’s a team sport.”

And Lynch feels his team wanted Russell Wilson to be the hero, not an
enigmatic Oakland native who loathes talking to the media.

Considering Lynch rushed for 17 touchdowns last season and amassed 1,306 yards
— his fourth consecutive season with at least 1,200 — it’s more than likely
one more rushing attempt would have resulted in another Lombardi Trophy for
the Seahawks,

“I had no problem with the decision of the playcalling,” Lynch said. “I mean
… 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. I mean, maybe it was a good thing that I didn’t get the
ball. I mean, you know, it cost us the Super Bowl.”

It didn’t cost Lynch, however. In fact, it might have helped his side in
negotiations because the Seahawks certainly weren’t buying the overhyped
retirement talk.

Professional athletes have a very short window to make large sums of money and
few have any intention of slamming the aperture shut before they are forced
to.

Those who cite Jim Brown, perhaps the greatest running back in NFL history,
who did walk away from the game at the at the apex of his career in 1965, fail
to place any context to that, namely the fact that the financials have changed
so drastically in the ensuing 50 years.

Hollywood was also calling Brown back in those days and it looked like the
better long-term play for the legendary Hall of Famer.

Things sped up in ’66 when Brown was shooting “The Dirty Dozen” overseas and
weather-related production delays clashed with the start of Browns training
camp. Then-Cleveland owner Art Modell threatened to fine Brown $1,500 for
every week of camp he missed and the All-Pro simply walked away from the game.

Maybe if Lynch was cast in the sequel to “Guardians of the Galaxy,” he might
have paid something more than lip service to the idea of an AARP card.