Lynch was center stage Sunday in a game where the entire Seattle rushing attack went Beast Mode in defeating the New York Giants 38-17. Lynch had 140 yards rushing and the team set a franchise record with 350 yards on the ground.
In the last two games, Lynch has accounted for 306 yards of offense and scored six touchdowns. He now has 689 yards on 153 carries (4.5 yards per carry) this season and 246 yards on 23 catches, along with 12 TDs.
But the prevailing logic is Lynch is playing his final season in Seattle, although team officials never have said anything publicly to substantiate that talk. It just made sense.
Lynch is due to make $7 million next season and will cost the Seahawks an $8 million salary cap hit. For a team that will have to pay quarterback Russell Wilson more than $20 million a year in what is likely to be a new contract in excess of $100 million, paying Lynch would seem a difficult task, mathematically speaking.
Lynch marches to a different drummer, to say the least. Stories have come out that the Seahawks were not happy with his camp holdout this summer. Lynch got $1.5 million more this year, knowing he might not be back to collect on the last year of his contract.
He also did not participate in any of the OTAs, not that he needed the practice. And Lynch was the only team member not to attend the White House ceremony with the president.
There’s also the concern about how long Lynch can continue to take the punishment with his relentless, bulldozer running style. He now has 1,054 carries over the last 3½ seasons.
He’ll be 29 next April, about the time many running backs start to slow down. And you know the saying in the NFL: Better to make a move one year too early than one year too late.
However, nine games into this season, Lynch is the clear star of the show for the Seahawks. Not only has he not slowed down, but he looks better than ever. If he continues to play at this level, the team will have a tough decision to make when the season ends.
The Seahawks can add this into the equation. As dominant as Lynch was Sunday, the other two running backs also played well. Christine Michael finally showed the reason the Seahawks drafted him in the second round a year ago, rushing for 71 yards on only four carries, including a 45-yard run that was a yard short of a TD.
And Robert Turbin rushed for 32 yards on six carries, but he did have one fumble. So Michael and Turbin combined for 103 yards on 10 carries.
By that standard, it appears the running game would be in good hands next year if the Seahawks decide the price is too high to keep Lynch. But it’s just one game when it looked like the water boy could have rushed for 100 yards against the porous Giants defense.
So, when next February rolls around and Lynch still is one of the best running backs in the NFL, what would you do?