Marshawn Lynch’s retirement is now official -- at least to the Seahawks.
The team on Thursday did what general manager John Schneider had said two days earlier it would do: Put the retiring star running back on its reserve/retired list.
The move coming before June 1 means the Seahawks will take all of Lynch’s $5 million charge against their salary cap this year. But it saves the team $6.5 million for 2016; until Thursday’s move Seattle was carrying all of Lynch’s $11.5 million cap charge for this year as if he was still on the active roster.
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Lynch, 30, declared through his famous tweet during February’s Super Bowl that he was retiring.
Though Lynch had yet to turn in his retirement paperwork, coach Pete Carroll reiterated last week the running back was “committed to being retired.” Thursday’s procedural move by the Seahawks officially ends Lynch’s decade in the league and his 5 1/2-year run in Seattle, during which he was the foundation for the most successful string of seasons in franchise history. That included the Seahawks’ only Super Bowl championship.
Lynch was named to five Pro Bowl teams -- in 2008 while with Buffalo then four times while he was with the Seahawks. He was an All-Pro in 2012 when he romped for a career-high 1,590 yards with 11 rushing touchdowns. From 2011 into the 2015 season, his first injury-filled one of his career, Lynch was the NFL’s leader in rushing yards and touchdowns.
Last weekend immediately after the draft ended Schneider said the team or league had yet to receive Lynch’s retirement paperwork. On Tuesday the GM told Seattle’s KJR-AM radio the Seahawks didn’t have to wait for Lynch to submit those papers to put him on the reserve/retired list.
There was no immediate word Thursday if Lynch had since done so.
Were Lynch to decide he wanted to play again, the Seahawks retain his rights while he’s on their reserve/retired list through 2017 under the contract extension he signed before the 2015 season. That deal included a signing bonus, the prorated portion of which is now Seattle’s accelerated cap charge for 2016 for Lynch. It ends after the 2017 season.
So Thursday’s move doesn’t change his status with the team for the this year or the next two years. It merely makes his retirement more official -- and, more pragmatically, clarifies Seattle’s salary-cap situation for this year.