SEATTLE >> A reunion of Marshawn Lynch and the Seahawks, rumored all day Monday, finally became a reality Monday night.
Lynch’s agent, Doug Hendrickson, tweeted a picture of Lynch’s contract under the heading “My son MoneyLynch is back! Boom let’s go!”
Lynch himself further confirmed the news with a video posted on his YouTube website, Beast Mode Productions, that was apparently produced before he came to an agreement with Seattle but in which he talked about the possibility of it happening.
Lynch said he would return to Seattle for “this playoff run” and try to help the Seahawks complete some “unfinished business.”
Lynch says in the video he may not be the running back he was five years ago but that he wants to “just be able to come in and step in where it’s needed.”
An announcement of what is expected to be a one-year deal — meaning the rest of the 2019 regular season and playoffs — is expected to come by Tuesday.
And with that, one of the more intriguing reunions in Seattle sports history became official.
The possibility first sprang to life Sunday night almost immediately after it became clear that Seattle had lost both Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise to season-ending injuries during a devastating 27-13 defeat to Arizona.
The 33-year-old Lynch flew to Seattle on Monday to meet with Seahawks officials and take a physical and discuss potentially signing with the team for the remainder of the season, coach Pete Carroll confirmed during his radio show Monday on ESPN 710 Seattle.
“We’re going to give him a really good chance to come back and play for us,” Carroll said Monday morning.
That chance became a certainty Monday night, and Seahawks fans can now look excitedly toward again seeing that familiar No. 24 in the backfield — Seattle will practice Tuesday as it begins preparations for the showdown Sunday with the 49ers for the NFC West title.
They’ll do so with most of their 2013 Super Bowl winning backfield back on the field as Seattle earlier in the day signed Robert Turbin, who was Lynch’s running mate with the Seahawks from 2012 to 2014.
Seattle needed to sign at least two running backs to take the roster spots of Carson and Prosise. Seattle ended the game against the Cardinals down to just one tailback — rookie Travis Homer — who played the entire second half. Seattle already was without Rashaad Penny, who suffered a knee injury against the Rams on Dec. 8 and is out for the season.
Rumors that Lynch could be a possibility erupted almost immediately following the game.
Carroll then confirmed them with some enthusiastic and surprisingly candid comments about signing Lynch during his radio show, saying the only possible impediment was Lynch passing a physical.
“He has worked really hard,” Carroll said of Lynch, who has not played since October 2018 in a game against the Seahawks in London while with the Raiders. “Got to see what kind of shape he’s in. From what we understand he’s in really good shape.”
At another point, Carroll said of the prospect of reuniting with Lynch: “Let’s be excited about it. … There’s a lot of history there that’s great history and there was nobody that ever amplified the kind of mentality and toughness that we like to play with and so if we get a chance to get the Beast back on the field we’ll see how that works out.”
And as for Lynch not having played in a while?
“The circumstances rolled just at this time,” Carroll said. “He could have 4-5 games left in him. Maybe that’s what we need.”
Meanwhile, while the Seahawks and Lynch were working things out, the team reached a deal with Turbin on Monday afternoon. Turbin confirmed the news Monday evening on Instagram, posting a picture of himself in the Seattle locker room and his locker, with jersey No. 34 (he wore No. 32 at the end of his first Seattle tenure in 2015). He also tweeted “no place like home!!!”
Seattle also had C.J. Anderson — who helped lead the Rams to the Super Bowl last season — in for a visit. But for now, Seattle has settled on a Lynch-Turbin backfield.
Carroll confirmed that Carson is out for the season saying he “has a fracture in his hip from a real violent shot he took, hit the ground with his knee.”
Carroll again compared Carson’s injury to one safety Lano Hill suffered a year ago. Hill had surgery and was out about eight months before returning. Prosise suffered a broken arm and tweeted Monday night he’d had surgery.
Lynch’s signing will not only provide a tangible help on the field but also help shift the mood in the locker room following the shocking defeat Sunday as Lynch now adds one last and improbable act in a Seahawks career that appeared to have ended for good when he retired following the 2015 season.
Lynch is the fourth-leading rusher in team history with 6,347 yards and second in rushing touchdowns with 57.
Lynch finished last season on injured reserve and became an unrestricted free agent when his contract with the Raiders expired following the season.
He last played for Seattle in 2015, famously announcing his retirement by tweeting a photo of a pair of cleats hanging over an electrical wire during the Super Bowl.
After sitting out a year, he returned to play two seasons for his hometown Raiders and had 1,267 yards on 297 carries with Oakland.
But while his contract ran out and he has not been on a roster this year, Lynch never announced his retirement, and a report in May said he would return to the Raiders this year if they needed him.
Lynch visited the Seahawks’ training complex two weeks ago when he was in town — a few days after the loss of Penny. But at the time Lynch returning to play was reportedly not considered and the visit was portrayed as merely a social one, though the team had to report it to the NFL because Lynch had not officially retired.
But NFL.com reported Monday night that the seeds for a return might have been planted during that visit.
Carroll hinted Monday that the team had at least considered the idea of a Lynch reunion before it became a necessity.
“(Seahawks general manager) John (Schneider) is always on the options and in astute fashion he has been connected with this one just in case for a lone enough time that we’ve had some runway for it and he’s had plenty of time to be working and get ready in case something came up,” Carroll said.
That the ending to Lynch’s Seattle tenure was a little bumpy might have made some think a reunion would be unlikely — he famously did not get on the bus for a trip to the airport for a playoff game against Minnesota to the surprise of Carroll and others in the organization after deciding he wasn’t well enough to play after having had sports hernia surgery early in the 2015 season. He returned to play in the divisional playoff game against Carolina but had just 20 yards on six carries, and the announced his retirement a few weeks later.
Carroll, though, said he has kept in contact with Lynch since he left Seattle — Lynch has made frequent visits to the area for business and personal reasons — and said on his radio show that Lynch was excited at the possibility of a return.
“I’m hoping (it works out) for him,” Carroll said. “He will have a blast playing for this team. He loves this city. He loves playing here.”
Turbin was one of two veteran free agent tailbacks who worked out for Seattle last Tuesday, the other being Alfred Blue, who played for Houston from 2014-18, with 16 starts and gaining 2,407 yards. Turbin was a fourth-round choice by Seattle in the memorable 2012 draft out of Utah State, where he was a teammate of middle linebacker Bobby Wagner.
Turbin later became a training camp roommate of another rookie from that class — quarterback Russell Wilson — and the two have long been close (Turbin was among the groomsmen at Wilson’s wedding to Ciara in 2016.)
Turbin gained 354, 264 and 310 yards in his three seasons with Seattle from 2012-14, serving as the backup to Lynch as well as often filling the role as a third-down/two-minute back.
He was waived by Seattle in September of 2015, in part due to the emergence of then-rookie Thomas Rawls, and has since played for Cleveland, Dallas and Indianapolis.
But he played just two games for the Colts in 2018 before being cut in November after spending much of the season dealing with a shoulder injury.
Turbin, 30, has not been on a roster this season but did have a tryout with the Raiders in the spring.