Source says Seahawks hope to extend Lynch’s contract
That the team appears ready to keep the running back beyond 2015 is a turnaround from where things appeared to stand with him before the season.
Seattle Times staff reporter
GLENDALE, Ariz. — The Seahawks would like to extend the contract of running back Marshawn Lynch, a team source confirmed Sunday.
But two sources also indicated talks are not as far as along as reported in an NFL.com story published Sunday.
That report said the Seahawks hope to sign Lynch to a contract that would keep him with the team “for years to come’’ and already have offered a contract worth more than $10 million for the 2015 season.
But other sources said the team and Lynch have yet to talk specifics and noted that nothing would be completed until after the new NFL league year begins March 10.
Still, that the team appears ready to make an offer to keep Lynch beyond 2015 is a turnaround from where things appeared to stand with the Seattle running back before the season began.
This season marked the third in a four-year contract worth $31 million he signed in 2012. He is due to make a base salary of $5 million in 2014 with a roster bonus of $2 million and a salary-cap number of $8.5 million.
With Lynch turning 29 in April, an age at which running backs often begin to decline, conventional wisdom held that the team might release Lynch before the 2015 season, similar to moves the team made after the 2013 season with high-priced veterans such as receiver Sidney Rice and defensive linemen Red Bryant and Chris Clemons.
But Lynch played as well as ever in 2014, leading the team with 1,306 yards and averaging 4.7 yards per carry — his second-best average since joining the Seahawks in 2010.
Sunday, Lynch kept it up with 102 yards on 24 carries and a touchdown against the Patriots.
Sources said before the game that Lynch’s success this season has played a factor in the organization now apparently wanting to keep him around past 2015.
The thought that the team might consider releasing Lynch after this season played a role in his holdout last summer. Lynch sat out the first week of training camp before deciding to return when the team made some adjustments to his contract to assure him an additional $1.5 million for this season.
The team knows Lynch might hold out again next year, wanting more certainty about his future, one reason to sign him to an extension this spring.
Extending Lynch would be part of what figures to be a busy offseason for the Seahawks. They also will try to extend the contract of quarterback Russell Wilson, who some think could get as much as $22.5 million per season, and might look to extend middle linebacker Bobby Wagner’s deal.
Wilson and Wagner each completed the third season of their four-year rookie contracts this year and are eligible for an extension.
Report: Sherman might need elbow surgery
ESPN reported after the game that cornerback Richard Sherman might need Tommy John surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left elbow.
Sherman suffered the injury in the NFC title game against Green Bay. He played Sunday with no apparent limitations and said after the game only that “in football you’re never 100 percent’’ and added the injury was no excuse.
Chancellor fights through pain
Seattle safety Kam Chancellor played with a knee injury suffered in practice Friday. Chancellor said afterward that “it definitely was a question’’ whether he could play.
But a pregame workout went well and he was able to go.
Hawks go down fighting
Seattle’s Bruce Irvin was ejected after a fight erupted with 18 seconds left.
Said Irvin: “I was protecting a teammate. Emotions flew. I saw someone hit Mike Bennett, so I went and backed up my brother. I went about it wrong. Emotions were flying high, and I apologize. But if it happened again I would go protect my teammate. That’s just how it is.’’
Carroll called it “unfortunate. That’s a mess. Nobody needed to see that.’’
Baldwin draws penalty
Seattle receiver Doug Baldwin drew an unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty after pretending to sit on a toilet after scoring a touchdown to make it 24-14 in the third quarter.
Baldwin said afterward only that “that was between me and the guy it was directed at.’’ Asked if it was directed at New England cornerback Darrelle Revis, he said no.
No update on Lane
Cornerback Jeremy Lane left in the first quarter after injuring his arm when he fell on it while bracing his fall after making an interception in the end zone.
Carroll said after the game he did not have specifics on the injury.
Lane’s injury meant the Seahawks had to use Tharold Simon, in his second year in the NFL, as an outside corner and move starter Byron Maxwell inside in nickel situations (five defensive backs).
The Patriots exploited that situation as much as they could, and Simon was beaten on several passes on New England’s first scoring drive in the second quarter.
• The inactive players for Seattle were: QB B.J. Daniels, CB Marcus Burley, OL Patrick Lewis, OL Keavon Milton, DT David King, OL Garry Gilliam and WR Kevin Norwood. Every player on Seattle’s 53-man roster was healthy, resulting in some tough decisions to pare the roster to 46 on game day.
• Defensive end Cliff Avril suffered a possible concussion in the third quarter on a play when Bobby Wagner picked off a Brady pass. He did not return.
• Lynch wore gold cleats during warm-ups but changed into his normal shoes for the game. The NFL has threatened to fine Lynch if he wore the gold cleats.
• The game was the first tie at halftime in Super Bowl history.