Marshawn Lynch famously retired via Twitter during Super Bowl 50, posting a picture of his football cleats hanging from a telephone wire. But after just one year in retirement, the running back known as "Beast Mode" returned for a second NFL act, spending two seasons with the Raiders. Lynch was then called back into action late in the 2019 season, when the Seahawks suffered season-ending injuries to their top-two running backs. In three games, Lynch rushed for four touchdowns while helping Seattle advance to the second round of the playoffs.
On Monday night, Lynch opened the door to a possible third act with Seattle, telling ESPN's Scott Van Pelt that his agent has been in communication with the Seahawks.
"Well, it's almost on that 'expect the unexpected,'" said Lynch, who turned 34 years old on April 22. "But just as far as right now, what I do know is, Imma keep it solid. My agent [Doug Hendrickson] has been in talks with Seattle, so like I said, we'll see what happens. If it works out and I get back up there, it is what it is. And if not, s---, I'm lookin' good. So I ain't really trippin' too much."
Chris Carson and Rashaad Penny, the Seahawks' top two running backs last season, were playing as well as any running back duo in football heading into the final month of the 2019 regular season. A week after Penny rushed for a season-high 129 yards and a score in Seattle's Week 12 win over the Eagles, he and Carson amassed 216 total yards and three touchdowns in the Seahawks' 37-20 win over Minnesota the following week on "Monday Night Football."
The Seahawks lost both running backs for the year over the final month of the regular season. Penny suffered an ACL tear plus additional damage to his knee during Seattle's Week 14 loss to the Rams. Carson, the Seahawks' leading rusher last season with 1,230 yards and seven touchdowns, sustained a hip injury during the team's Week 16 loss to the Cardinals. The injuries to Carson and Penny contributed to the Seahawks' 1-3 record during the final month of the season that dropped them to the fifth seed in the NFC playoffs.
With Carson and Penny on the shelf, head coach Pete Carroll and the Seahawks turned to Lynch and Travis Homer. The duo put up an effective stat line during the team's 26-21 loss to the 49ers in Week 17, combining to rush for 96 yards and a score on 22 carries. While Lynch scored a touchdown in his first game in 14 months, Homer, a sixth-round pick who earned his stripes on special teams, rushed for a season-high 62 yards on 10 carries. He also caught all five of his targets for 30 yards, earning the praise of Carroll.
"We totally expected that (type of performance) from him, and that's all he's ever done," Carroll said of Homer, who possesses a physical running style despite being just 5-foot-10 and 202 pounds. "He's never been anything but full speed. He's 1000% full speed every time he gets the ball in his hands or chases a punt or whatever he does in special teams. He's been really true to who he is."
While Seattle is optimistic that Carson will be back for the start of the season, general manager John Schneider recently said that Penny may miss the start of the 2020 campaign. The Seahawks did add to their backfield during the draft, selecting former University of Miami running back DeeJay Dallas in the fourth round.
Lynch, the 12th overall pick in the 2007 draft, is currently 29th on the NFL's all-time career rushing list with 10,413 yards. He's 16th all-time with 85 touchdown runs after leading the league in that department in 2013 and in 2014. Lynch was instrumental in Seattle's back-to-back Super Bowl runs during that span, rushing for 2,563 yards and 25 touchdowns while helping the Seahawks capture their first Super Bowl title at the end of the 2013 season.