Add the one person who might have the best chance of knowing what Marshawn Lynch will do next — his longtime agent Doug Hendrickson — to the list of those who doesn’t know if the retired Seahawks running back has plans to play again.
In an interview Monday on radio station KNBR in San Francisco, Hendrickson said he and Lynch have actually not even talked about whether he will play again despite four days of stories and media speculation that a return could be imminent.
“Well in all sincerity, Marshawn’s been in Canada,” Hendrickson said. “I’m due to see him this week. So he and I have not spoken about this at all. So it was the media who took the ball and kind ran with it. … He’s one of the most unique guys I’ve ever been with in my life. Marshawn, it wouldn’t shock me in three days if he says, ‘Hey, I want to play.’ It wouldn’t shock me if he says, ‘Nah, I don’t know where this came from. I don’t want to play.’ “
Hendrickson further said Lynch doesn’t need the money but has said he misses the game.
“He doesn’t spend any of the money he’s made. He’s got a lot of money,” Hendrickson said. “He does miss football. No question. He loves the game of football. He’s 30 [turns 31 next month]. But until I meet with him this week, you know, I don’t know what his mindset is. He’s the kind of guy that can shift by the hour.”
As detailed Friday, there are a number of steps that have to be taken before Lynch could become a Raider — which is the only option for him to play as there is no desire on either side for Lynch to return to the Seahawks.
First, because he has two years remaining on his contract — and the contract would simply pick up where it left off were he to return — he has to officially apply for reinstatement from the NFL and be placed back on Seattle’s roster, a step that as of Friday he had not taken (a source also said Lynch had not asked the team for his release, as had been reported. But any release also can’t happen until he first gets reinstated by the NFL, and the Seahawks have not been informed any steps in that regard have been taken).
Then Seattle and the Raiders would have to try to work out some sort of trade, unless the Seahawks did indeed decide just to release Lynch — which at some point they undoubtedly would, not wanting to carry his $9 million salary cap hit for 2017.
The Seahawks would also likely ask Lynch to pay back $2.5 million of the $7.5 million signing bonus he received in 2015.
Teams don’t have to ask for repayment of bonuses. But it is believed that the Seahawks told Lynch they wouldn’t ask for any of it back when he retired, on the assumption that he would stay retired.
But if Lynch returns to play, it’s believed the Seahawks will ask for at least $2.5 million of the bonus back.
Lynch has made more than $50 million playing in the NFL, so he can handle that if he’s motivated enough to want to play again — and all the smoke out there seems to indicate he has interest in playing for his hometown team.