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Marshawn Lynch may never play for the Seahawks again

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Lynch is due to count $11.5 million against the Seahawks' salary cap in 2016, which likely makes him expendable even if he decides to come back.

Nobody ever really knows what Marshawn Lynch is thinking, but if the Seattle Seahawks running back decides to come back for the 2016 season, it may be with a different team.

Lynch, 29, reportedly mulled retirement during the 2014 season, before eventually returning to the Seahawks in March with a two-year contract extension. With a hernia surgery expected to keep Lynch on the sideline for at least a month, his 2015 season may be over, and it's always possible that the 29-year-old running back could hang up his cleats after 2,144 career rushing attempts, the 34th-highest total in NFL history.

But even if Lynch does elect to return for another year, it appears unlikely that the Seahawks would be willing to keep him on his current deal.

"The larger reality is that his time with Seattle is coming to a close," Jason La Canfora said on CBS on Sunday morning. "He's nearing age 30, all the guaranteed money in this latest renewed contract was paid in year one, he's talked about retirement in the past, they have cap issues all over that locker room now...Continuing to carry Marshawn Lynch at $10 million per year is not really going to be feasible for them."

The Seahawks haven't placed Lynch on injured reserve due to the hope that he'll be able to return in time to contribute before the end of the 2015 season. At 5-5, the Seahawks are a long shot to win the NFC West, but are just one game behind the slumping Atlanta Falcons for a Wild Card spot. If Seattle manages to sneak into the postseason, Lynch may be available to suit up for the Seahawks once again.

Still, Lynch is due to count $11.5 million against the salary cap for the Seahawks in 2016 and $12.5 million in 2017, so it seems the most realistic chance he has at remaining in Seattle is to take a pay cut in the offseason. The emergence of Thomas Rawls might make the amount that the Seahawks are willing to give Lynch not worth his while to return to the team he has played for since 2010.

Lynch is 36th in NFL history in rushing yards with 9,112 and 24th in rushing touchdowns with 74. He's also seventh in NFL history in postseason rushing touchdowns with nine.

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