It's starting to look like the Seattle Seahawks will, in fact, have running back Marshawn Lynch back for the 2015-16 season. There's a ton of reports floating around out there, and aside from the Jason La Canfora vs. Mike Florio slap-fight that's going on, most of them seem to agree that Lynch is either in or on his way to Seattle, plans to play next season, will be paid a lot of money to do so and that team owner Paul Allen is making a rare appearance to impress upon Lynch how important he is to the organization.
While none of the beat writers can seem to agree on specifics of Lynch's itinerary, Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that Lynch has agreed to a new two-year contract and will sign the deal when he meets with Allen in Seattle. Most are reporting the figure Florio is going with below, though, and that Schefter got the terms of the deal wrong. If I had to guess, I'd say Lynch is getting a pretty penny guaranteed for this coming season, with a bunch on the back-end to potentially entice him to return in 2016.
The aforementioned Florio of Pro Football Talk reported that it's a three-year deal that pays Lynch $12 million in 2015, in the form of a $7.5 million signing bonus and $4.5 million in fully-guaranteed base salary. There's another $9 million in 2016 and $7 million in 2017, and a $3 million roster bonus in the final year.
If Lynch calls it quits after 2015, he'll be responsible for paying back $5 million of the signing bonus, but Florio notes that the Seahawks likely know Lynch will probably want to call it quits and made this deal knowing they won't see that money again. Given that he came so close to calling it quits this offseason, it's probably safe to say that 2015-16 is the focus for now.
Despite playing with severe back pain this season, Lynch was instrumental in Seattle's success. It also looks like his actual cap hit for this coming season isn't much different than it was going to be already had they not agreed on a new deal. In other words, this move doesn't hurt the Seahawks from a salary cap perspective. It does help them from an offensive perspective, given that Lynch put up 280 carries for 1,306 yards and 13 touchdowns last season.
He's a familiar foe for the 49ers, and he's no stranger to making them look back. He put up 104 yards against the 49ers in November last season, and then 91 yards and a touchdown in December, the game in which the 49ers were eliminated from playoff contention. Looks like they're getting another couple games against him next season.