Seahawks sign Kevin Williams & will Marshawn Lynch retire?

Even during the most mundane section of the NFL calendar, the Seahawks find a way to make life interesting.

Kevin Williams is 34 this year and will eventually retire as one of the greats. Six Pro Bowls. Five all-pro nominations. He was named in the ‘all-decade’ team for the 2000’s. Very few defensive tackles play for ten years. Even fewer play for ten years at the level Williams achieved in Minnesota.

Seattle is thinner on the defensive line going into 2014. They’ve lost Red Bryant and Chris Clemons. They’ll need to find a replacement for Clinton McDonald. There’s a lot riding on the young bucks stepping up to the plate.

Yet this is the one area Carroll’s Seahawks haven’t had too much success. They haven’t drafted young defensive lineman and then transitioned them into key role players. Michael Bennett and Cliff Avril were bought in. Bryant and Brandon Mebane were inherited. Clemons was an established veteran even if he carried a journeyman tag.

None of the draft picks — including the likes of Bruce Irvin, Jordan Hill and Jaye Howard — have had a major impact.

Hopes are high for Gregg Scruggs, Hill, Benson Mayowa and co. But with potential comes uncertainty. Even in an ageing frame, Carroll knows what he’s getting from Williams.

Funnily enough I interviewed him last year to get his thoughts on taking rookie Sharrif Floyd under his wing and the Percy Harvin trade:

I see him working inside as a three technique. That’s a near certainty. But it’s going to be interesting to see how Seattle’s line shapes up next year. Carroll has promised evolution — yet he hasn’t stated the scale of the changes.

What we do know is — Williams will be stout, he’ll offer some pass rush and he’ll be a mentor for the younger guys.

And his value in that sense shouldn’t be underestimated.

I find this developing Marshawn Lynch saga both surprising and unsurprising.

I’m surprised because of the timing. June seems like a strange time to have an epiphany on your contract situation or even your career.

I’m not surprised because I remember these remarks after the Super Bowl victory in this piece by the MMQB.

“Lynch has been telling teammates all season he’ll retire if they win the Super Bowl. Sherman doesn’t believe him. In the lobby upstairs, they put their heads together and Lynch whispers something inaudible through the mask. Sherman laughs and screams, “You reneged!””

This stuck in my memory. I sense Lynch was joking around with the teammates mentioned here, but amongst the laughs was an element of truth. Your body takes a pounding at running back. And nobody’s body has taken more of a pounding than Lynch’s.

The Seahawks started collecting RB’s even after Lynch signed his new contract in 2012. They drafted Robert Turbin in round four that year — and then Christine Michael in round two the following season.

It wasn’t just an acknowledgement of planning ahead, it was a nod to the importance of the position in this offense. Seattle wants a playmaker or two at running back. And they don’t want a sudden drop off if and when Lynch calls it a day.

If — as Ian Rapoport suggests — he is considering retirement, I think he might be better off just making the decision. If his body can’t take another beating in 2014, then why struggle on?

Seattle has a player in Christine Michael who appears ready to have an impact in the NFL. He’s dynamic. He’s explosive. And he’s hungry.

The Seahawks can ill-afford to carry Lynch as much as he can’t afford to struggle through another year if his body screams “no more”.

Of course all this talk could just be a tactic to get a better contract — something Lynch is also after according to reports. His representatives should know there’s very little chance of a breakthrough there. The NFL just isn’t paying running backs any more. Lynch is actually quite fortunate he got a new deal with $17m guaranteed.

If the Seahawks won’t pony up — and they probably won’t — what then?

Of course Seattle won’t waste much time on league-wide trends. If they think he’s just too important to lose, they might be willing to negotiate after all. It still seems unlikely however, given the depth they have at the position.

It’ll be a sad day when Beast Mode hangs up the cleats. To an extent it’d be incredibly Lynch-esque if he did just make a dramatic announcement and walk.No doubt without holding any press conference.

That day appears to be a lot closer than anyone imagined.


  1. Turp

    Situational run stuffer. 5T/3T on run downs? Good signing, reminds me of the Winfield contract.

  2. Steve Nelsen

    ESPN’s Ed Werder reported the contract as a one-year deal in excess of $2 million.

    He’ll compete with McDonald, Williams and Hill for the 3-tech DT spot in the rotation. Since, Williams and Hill are both still unproven, this gives Seattle some veteran competition and insurance at a reasonable cost.

    Obviously, Williams is past the part of his career where he was a 6-time Pro-bowler and 5-time first-team All-Pro. He may fail to make the roster like Antoine Winfield.

  3. Kenny Sloth

    Does this show slower than hoped for progress by our potential 5 techs? I believe they’ve found that Michael Bennett doesn’t take on double teams in a phonebook.
    If we were to go back to the 4-3 over that Bradley had us running, then I could totally see it.

  4. nolan

    Well by law we have to sign one player that was a Viking in the previous year every off season …. Most likely he is like Winfield n cut before season starts

  5. kevin mullen

    I think Cassius Marsh will be the DLineman that

    • kevin mullen

      Break the DL drafted curse. Of all the guys JS drafted, Marsh excites me the most. He really does have a poor mans Clemons about him so I think he’ll fit that mold. He’s smaller but quicker, hopefully he won’t get too blown out position on run situations, my only concerns.

      As far as Marshawn, hopefully it isn’t true about retiring, just a leverage move. He ipotomizes the the Carroll Era and would be a shame to see him go. Even him flipping off the coaching staff (was it at Indy?) during a game shows how much weight this guy carries on this team. He didn’t get benched nor fined. But he was exactly right for doing it, and everyone knew it too.

  6. Jon

    As a man, I would be happy for Lynch if he chooses to retire (he has taken a beating in his career, “that action” hurts “boss”). As a fan of the Seahawks it will be hard. But this at a time when many people, including myself, have been suggesting that the Hawks may move on next offseason anyway, it would not be so surprising if he were to make the decision for them.

    As far as Kevin Williams is concerned, I think he goes the way of Winfield. This is not a team that is built for old men. He will be insurance for failure of the young bucks. If PCJS did not have the need to bring him in till now they were obviously not afraid of loosing his services.

  7. Mark

    I don’t buy the Lynch wants a new contract rumors. The RB market is the lowest it’s been in years and Lynch is already one of the top paid RBs.

    Listen to the NFL Sound FX from the Super Bowl and Lynch definitely sounded content. If he does decide to retire, Thank You and Good Luck! It would be a smart decision to leave at the top and don’t punish your body any more and live a long healthy life.

    I left this comment on Reddit, I can’t wait for Williams to line up right over the 49ers rookie center. Seattle’s front office has been brilliant finding a way to turn weaknesses into strengths. I wonder if this move was on the radar, or if disappointment from OTAs prodded them into action.

    • Arias

      According to Rapaport, sources close to Lynch (usually meaning “his agent”) report he’s not asking for a whole lot, but wants to be paid as a top 3 back instead of a top 5 back as he is now.

      But according to team sources Rapaport also goes on to say that the team is not open to renegotiating. They feel he’s being paid like a top 5 back and they don’t like the precedent it sets with a player who had just signed an extension, having a great year, then demanding another extension.

      So if the team doesn’t budge on that stance he might end up retiring. He might feel the difference between being paid as a top 5 back instead of a top 3 back isn’t worth putting his body through another season.

      • xo 1

        The interesting twist is whether the Seahawks would seek to reclaim half of his $6 million signing bonus, if Marshawn retires. They’d be entitled to do so, per Florio. What I don’t know is whether the Hawks would get relief against the dead money charge for doing so. I suspect that would be a factor in the decision.

      • Glor

        Screw that, we paid him very we’ll as a 4 year contract average. If he is trying to pull a revis, fine his ass and let him retire

  8. CC

    Welcome back Rob!

    If Marshawn wants a new deal, this will be the first time anyone of the guys on the team has taken this type of position – one that in theory doesn’t “protect the team.” If true, I am really interested to see what the FO does. Does Marshawn deserve more money this year? Maybe, maybe not. He certainly has been a work horse and given it his all. I wonder if they would change it to a one year deal and make it $8-9 mill per year – sort of the Darrell Revis type contract.

    • Brian

      “Deserve” is an interesting word. He is being fairly paid from a cost/benefit perspective. Running backs simply aren’t worth that much, and he is very well paid in comparison to other at his position. But Lynch’s only concern is his own life, not the trends in the league.

    • YDB

      Chris Clemons held out a couple years back following the drafting of Irvin.

      It worked out for him in terms of money, as the team capitulated and gave him a significant raise.

      • Arias

        Clemons did deserve one as he had been a rock and the sackmaster on the defensive line the prior 2 years and hadn’t gotten his big money deal yet. But in this case the front office appears to have taken a public stand against renegotiating Lynch’s deal by telling Rapaport they don’t feel it’s necessary as he’s been paid like the top 5 back that he is. In Clemons case Carroll was always repeating how it was their goal to get Clemons signed as their immediate priority. So if Lynch is a no show it might not be resolved as expediently, if at all.

  9. James

    When Beast surprised the coaches on the sideline and took himself out of the Super Bowl early in the 4th qtr, my first thought was that he is calling it a career and is going to retire….so it would not surprise me if that is the end result. His 2014 salary plus prorated bonus is about $7.5mil and he would not get that on the open market. If he is not retiring, this is a desperate ploy that I am sad to see Marshawn take, when he should be basking in glory.

    It must be very difficult to envision playing in 2014 when everyone, and I mean everyone, knows that Seattle will have to release him for those huge cap savings in 2015, so they can sign Russ, Avril, Wagner, and who knows else? Not a fun scenario for the Beast, the eccentric’s eccentric…for to play like a maniac, you have to be somewhat of a maniac.

    John and Pete know that if the Seahawks set the precedent of re-negotiating with players who still have two years on their contracts, they might as well pour gasoline into the VMAC right now and give the agents a nice set of matches….impossible to see the Seahawks agreeing to a lucrative new multiyear contract. At most, they might tear up the current deal and sign the Beast to a one year deal for a little more than what he is due right now, but that might not even be possible under the cap structure?

    Maybe this is just Beast Mode taking the summer off, and strolling in as training camp ends and Seattle is prepping for the regular season (a’la Walter Jones), but I kinda doubt it. Would love to see 24 blasting defences one more year, but that may not be how he wants to go out?

    • AlaskaHawk

      There is a large cap savings in both 2014 and in 2015, I think only 1 million per year is guaranteed. A lot of his money was given up front in the 6 million dollar signing bonus. So it is possible he will live with the overall amount of money but wants more to be guaranteed.

  10. Justin

    If Lynch does end up retiring I have to think this is something the team has known for awhile. It doesn’t seem like Lynch to just leave his teammates hanging like that. With comments about going with a running back by committee it leads me to believe they have been planning for this. But that just might be me.

    Ill be sad if Lynch retires and doesn’t play another down in Seattle but I will have a ton of respect for him if he wants to go out on top.

  11. Adog

    Like Tate had the rams number, lynch seemed to have the saints number. It makes me wonder who will step up against these peculiar teams when these guys are gone? I expect to see the saints in the playoffs again this year. I don’t think that our front office just lets lynch walk away. They’ll get something done to keep him at least one more year.

    • Jfoxbebb

      Baldwin has a knack for getting back at Harbaugh and correspondingly the Niners. As new guys arrive, there will be new opportunities for guys to have those games where they just dominate the competition. I think Harvin will be ready to show off to the Saints “new” secondary next year, especially since they smashed him and knocked him out of the playoff game.

  12. David M

    I think it’s all blown out of proportion.. You know the media, one thing comes out and a huge story is made of it… This was a pic of Lynch that was tweeted out eariler, I’m guessing by a friend or trainer of his, but as you can see, he’s still working out and rocking hawks gear.

    It’s just the way he is, likes to be on his own. Nothing wrong with that, he shows up on Sunday and that’s all that matters

    • Arias

      Jordan Babineaux has since confirmed Lynch’s demand for more money in an interview. I don’t think it’s being blown out of proportion.

  13. Richard aka DesertSeahawk

    I would love to see Marshawn play for two more glorious years and lead this team the way he always has…But, he’s taken a lot of punishment and continued to bedazzle a lot of Defenses with his sheer will to run through them and over people. He has amazed us all, but, I don’t want him to be one of those broken down athletes that some people sorta remember either. He is class for this era Skittles, silence to the too nosy, “I’m all about that action boss!” He is Beast Mode!! He is more important to the Seahawks than any of those great kids that are gonna be great. I want him to be the epoch of Seattle running backs that we all know and love as BeastMode forever!

  14. Mylegacy

    Why does everything have to be bitter-sweet?

    Williams is: “old” “a potential hall of fame guy” “33” “will play 14/15 at 34” “gone like Winfield”…personally, I’d KILL to be 34 again (hell I’d kill to 55 again!). Williams is an old guy who just might be able to bring 300 to 400 snaps at 110% and IF his present day 110% is at least 85% of his Pro Days 100% – then this is clearly an interesting depth add. On balance – great signing…could be a gain with no risk.

    Lynch…all last year Marshawn took his body and rammed it into defenders about 3 yards behind the line of scrimmage – he then drove them downfield – by sheer physical strength, guile, and an other worldly determination. “It’s all about the action, boss.” With an offensive line that spent most of last season being offensive…Lynch – was the running game – period – end of case. A Super Bowl team – a run first team – a team with an offensive offensive line – was led by – needed, could not have made the Big Game without – Marshawn Lynch. AND – all season all we fans (we arrogant fans) spouted about was how Michael was the future (Michael – a guy who yet has to prove he can even block my Grandmother). Lynch is sullen, mercurial, a lonely beast – and all year as he led us to glory all he read on the blogs was how soon he’d be replaced.

    I love this guy – we owe this guy. Lynch is paid like a “top five” running back – (allegedly) he wants to be paid like a “top three” running back. Me – I pay the guy. It’s all about the respect, boss….it’s all about the respect.

    • KingRajesh

      But look at the precedent that sets though – a deal is a deal, and do we really want players who perform up to the standards expected of them to come back half way though the contract and demand more money?

      Is that the kind of players or the mindset that we want? Because if we do that for Lynch, what about when ET or Sherman come back in two or three years and want some extra cash? Or someone else? This front office has always rewarded its players with the contracts they deserve, but they have a schedule. This year it was ET and Sherm, next year its Russell and probably Okung (if he plays all 16) or Bobby Wagner. Lynch is ****ing up the schedule that has been working so well for Pete and John.

      And don’t get me wrong, I love Lynch. I love his running style, I love his personality, I love that he was the heart and soul of this team from 2010 till now… but I love the Seahawks more. And if it comes down to it, I’ll love Christine Michael and Robert Turbin just as much. Because lets not put on the rose-tinted goggles… Lynch is slowing down. His top end speed is gone, and he’s relying on his power and vision to get through traffic.

    • Jarhead

      Finally someone else who is not drinking the Michaels Kool Aid… Someone actually requiring him to prove himself on the field before casting a bronze bust in Canton. This isn’t the Matt Flynn deal here folks. Russell Wilson isn’t waiting in the wings to lead this team to destiny. Everyone who was so eager to see Michaels will see first hand how absolutely irreplaceable Marshall Lynch could become. If he does retire, that could be all she wrote. Sorry, but Michaels is not even in the same state as Lynch. If Lynch is in Oakland Michaels may as well be in Hackensack, NJ. Listen to what Carroll said about Michaels lack of maturity, outside distractions, sense of entitlement, poor preparation and an unwillingness to listen to coaching. This is isn’t about replacing Lynch, which is nigh impossible, this is about the fundamental drop off in talent, heart, and leadership that Lynch provides. Pardon the pun, but he was the linchpin of this team. I shudder to think at where we will be without Lynch. If we had drafted Lacy last year I might not be so concerned, but this could get ugly…

      • Jarhead

        Of course I know he is Marshawn, stupid auto correct. And by Carroll’s comments I mean him discussing Michael s improvements. They are direct indication of what he fundamentally lacks, despite whatever improvement he may have made

        • Arias

          Not disagreeing with you but there was a time when the same sorts of things were said about Lynch. He was in Buffalo then and involved in a hit and run on a lady he smashed into on the street. Then popped again not long after that on a felony concealed weapons charge. Immaturity, outside distractions, sense of entitlement. Maybe not poor prep, but that’s an area Carroll has mentioned the most improvement in Michael. I’m not ready to anoint Michael but I’m also not ready to dismiss him either. These are young guys and some of them do grow up.

          • mrpeapants

            great point arias! don’t get me wrong I think lynch is probably the toughest rb,(maybe ever) to bring down. he has a lot of heart. BUT, im not willing to f up next years contracts to feed the beast. im not saying that cm is the answer but he sure looks like it from what ive seen. you cant just dismiss him cause he hasn’t played. not to mention that marshawn has already made a shitload of money from the last deal we gave him. how much is enough marshawn? im disappointed:( go hawks

            • Arias

              Yup. And the citizens of Buffalo had more reason to get down on Lynch than we have to get down on Michael. Lynch was actually getting in trouble with the law on some serious charges and was suspended by the league for 3 games. It’s why their team decided to draft CJ Spiller and effectively move on from him, they didn’t think he was reliable enough to count on … especially after he tacked on that second arrest after getting pulled over with two of his homies while packing illegal heat. They had no idea what he was all up into. He’s been nothing but steady for us here on the field but even after he came here he still hadn’t gotten it totally together, as the DUI soon after signing his last extension proved. But he was still worth believing and investing in.

              But I’m in agreement with you, as much as I like Marshawn and am glad we gave him a 2nd chance, it’s hard to have much sympathy when he’s already had his big payday and is set for life. Meanwhile, I’m sure the FO has to be pissed. PC and Schneider have done nothing but treat him well as they’ve tried to go out of their way to do for all of their personnel in order to avoid situations like this. It’s not like he hasn’t gotten paid as the top 5 back that he is. PC confers special privs on him like letting him take every Wednesday off and publicly defends him over not attending OTAs. For him to also now demand more must feel like a slap in the face. I’m sure Schneider has been meticulous about his cap planning, and he can’t be happy having to consider a wrench thrown into it like this.

              That Rapaport revealed that his “sources” on the team told him that they made contingencies by drafting Turbin and Michael because they considered Lynch so unpredictable tells me that was their public warning shot across the bow to remind him of their contingencies and they’ll move on if they have to. It could just be public posturing in negotiations, but it’s fascinating that so much appears to be being negotiated through the press at the moment.

  15. CHawk Talker Eric

    Has Lynch ever had an off-season where he attended all OTAs and minicamp?

    If my memory serves (and I acknowledge that it may not), he usually spends his summer in OAK with family and working out, but he always shows up in training camp in top condition.

    Kevin Williams is a nice signing. Doesn’t matter if he makes the final roster. Having a consummate professional defensive lineman and all-around footballer/teammate in camp will benefit the entire team, not just the dline.

    • Arias

      Lynch missed OTAs for the first time last year. Prior to that, based on reports I’ve seen, he was always a participant.

  16. Jeff C

    In the end, I think Lynch will be there. Not too many opportunities to make 7 – 8 million in life. he’s near the end of his career and he must know that.

  17. rowdy

    Rob or everyone for that matter, what are your thoughts if lynch does retire? I really don’t think that’s an option but I was thinking who can replace the punishing style? I think it would be ware (I really like his tape) and understand it would be some kind of tandem if it happened and ware being a real unknown. As someone who watches a lot more tape then me, how do you see ware handling lynchs job as a battling ram? Cmike was a most have in the draft for me but don’t see him as a rb that will break a defenses will physically which is how I see them use lynch.

    • AlaskaHawk

      If they want to punish the defensive line they can hand the ball off to the new fullback. Short is #250 and only 5’8″ tall, he will hit the line like a bowling ball.

      • rowdy

        You can’t just be big though lynch can move around in a phone both , small is a phone both

  18. Chris

    Hello, Buffalo?

    Well, according to Marshawn he’s underpaid … so how about you give us a bag of skittles, you take him and his contract and we call it even?

    Can resign absolutely everyone, even guys like Maxwell and KJ next year. Thanks MONEYLynch!

  19. Robert

    I think PCJS will demonstrate “Protect the Team.” They will NOT set a precedent that allows players to renegotiate their contracts until the final year when extensions will be a possibility for discussion. At most, they might throw him a bonus opportunity related to production so he feels “respected.” I love the Beast, but he cannot be allowed to destroy our strategy for managing the CAP going forward…

  20. Hay stacker509

    — Seahawks Make Player Moves —
    Mon Jun 16, 2014 –from

    ESPN reports the Seattle Seahawks have released DE Kenneth Boatright and QB Keith Price and signed RB Demitrius Bronson.
    Well, their goes everyone’s hope that boatright was going to be a beast. And how many damn rbs does this team need??

  21. mrpeapants

    this is my first year on this site and I was wondering, is it done till next years draft or does rob keep going throughout the year. theres been a lot goin on and not much news from here. just curious, ty
    go hawks

    • Rob Staton

      Sadly one of the factors of the deep coverage we have from September-May will be a few slow weeks during the summer. The blog takes up an incredible amount of time during the season and now that I have an 8-month year old son I have to make the most of this time if we’re going to keep the blog rolling during the fall/winter.

      Apologies to those expecting the usual daily updates — but this does remain a hobby for me first and foremost and my full time job and family has to come first. But we’ll be back to a daily service when it really matters.

      • Madmark

        I wouldn’t worry about the lull there really isn’t anything till July 24th. As I write this the Seahawks are on there 2nd day of Minicamp and wow not really a surprised to me but Lynch is in camp. Currently after minicamp I will take a shot at picking a 53 man roster and If this was the article still up then I would post it here.

  22. smitty1547

    2 more solid years of SB caliber performances and beast has a nice resume to at least be considered for HOF, hard to give that up along with the money. U get the jacket and your getting paid for life in appearance fees and autograph signings.

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