|Lynch will get to avoid the franchise tag by signing a multi-year deal with Seattle. (Getty Images)|
When Seahawks general manager John Schneider said last month that free agent running back Marshawn Lynch would return to Seattle for the 2012 season, he answered “Sure” when asked if the franchise tag could be applied if a long-term contract wasn’t negotiated.
With the franchise tag deadline closing Monday, that step won’t be necessary after all.
The Seahawks announced Sunday night that Lynch has signed a multi-year contract. According to multiple reports, the deal is worth $31 million over four years with $18 million guaranteed.
“We are excited to keep Marshawn as an important part of what we are building,” Schneider said. “This is what we were hoping for when we acquired him from Buffalo.”
Lynch -- listed fourth on our list of unrestricted free agent running backs this offseason -- has done well since the Bills traded him to Seattle in 2010, aided in part by an untold amount of Skittles.
He helped the Seahawks upset the Saints in the 2010 postseason -- you remember this ridiculous rushing touchdown, right? -- and in 2011, he recorded career highs in rushing yards (1,204) and touchdowns (13) while scoring in a franchise-record 11-straight games.
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