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Seahawks GM John Schneider: Marshawn Lynch is considering retirement

Given that Marshawn Lynch is the NFL personification of an enigma wrapped inside a mystery stuffed into a confusing riddle, it hardly was surprising when rumors began to surface that the incredibly talented but wholly unpredictable Seattle Seahawks running back would consider retirement following the conclusion of last season. There is now some tangible confirmation that Lynch just might hang up his cleats, never to play football again.

Despite Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll claiming that the team has engaged in contract discussions with Lynch, John Schneider stated in an interview Tuesday that Lynch is seriously mulling not returning, having not decided if he will play in the upcoming 2015 NFL season.

“Whether or not he wants to play next year, I can’t answer that,” the Seahawks general manager said on the “Brock and Salk Show” on ESPN 710 Seattle, via The Seattle Times. “I don’t know if he knows at this juncture.”

Even though Lynch held out for a week as a result, Schneider insists that the running back ultimately understood why the team was unwilling to renegotiate his contract before the season, as it would have set a precedent that the team would be willing to rework contracts with more than one year remaining on them.

The Seahawks GM also mentioned that the emotional and physical wear and tear deep runs into the postseason over the two previous seasons may be weighing on Lynch as he decides whether he wants to play a 10th NFL season.

“It’s hard for these guys,” Schneider said. “We’ve played a lot of football these last two years, and especially the way this guy runs the ball. It’s taxing on his body. And so he needs to reset himself and get in that mind frame of ‘okay, I’m ready to get moving here again and get prepared for another season of this.’ And so obviously we’d like to have a decision as quickly as we could so we can move forward. But we’d love to have him back.”

Despite saying the team would love to have Lynch in the backfield next season, Schneider did note that the team’s hands are tied until the mercurial running back ponders his future, meaning the Seahawks would prefer if he made the decision sooner rather than later.

Schneider indicated Lynch “needs to find out where he’s at” so the team can either move on or start working on a new, more cap-friendly deal — terms of Lynch’s current contract for next season is set at $5 million with a roster bonus of $2 million but carries a salary cap hit of $8.5 million. Any restructured deal will come with a raise, as Schneider said Lynch “knows if he’s back he’s not going to be playing at the same number he’s scheduled to make.”

Over the past two seasons, Lynch has started every game, amassed 2,563 yards and scored 25 touchdowns, meaning if he decides to retire, the Seahawks will have a tremendous hole to fill … one so large that all the distractions, fines and sometimes-sideshow-like trappings that come along with having Lynch on a team seem arguably trivial in comparison.

(photo credit: Christian Petersen/Getty Images)