NFL Rumors: Does Running Back By Committee Mean The End Of Marshawn Lynch In Seattle?

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Marshawn Lynch

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Is there a chance that “Beast Mode” will be turned off in Seattle?

Well, that’s the sense we’re getting when deciphering the comments by Seattle Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell.

Bevell praised second-year running back Christine Michael for his progress made over the offseason, adding that he expects a bigger role for him in the offense.

Bevell had high praise for the play so far of Christine Michael saying “we are really excited right now, what he’s done” and noted that Michael has improved particularly at “the details” of the position.

Bevell also said that Michael could have a greater role this season and that could lead to having more of a “running back by committee” approach in 2014.

The Seahawks’ workhorse, Marshawn Lynch, is coming off back-to-back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons and has accumulated 41 rushing touchdowns during his time with Seattle. Of course, when you’re at that successful, you’re usually due for a raise.

Lynch is under contract through 2015, when he’s due $5.5 million in base salary plus $2 million in per-game roster bonuses.

Michael, 23, on the other hand, is playing for a cheaper four-year, $3.374 million deal.

The fact that Bevell has raved about Michael while Lynch has carried the ball a league-high 1,002 times over the past three seasons makes it easy to connect the dots: as the treads on Lynch’s tires wear down, the Seahawks are going to give Michael more of an opportunity to get work and eventually take over starting duties — perhaps in 2015 when the team can release Lynch and avoid that hefty payday.

If the Seahawks release Lynch before the 2015 season, the cap hit would be a mere $920,300. Pay less than a million dollars to avoid giving out up to $7.5 million — it makes sense. And it could spell the end of Beast Mode for the defending Super Bowl champions.

Sam Spiegelman is a native New Yorker covering sports in New Orleans. He likes Game of Thrones way too much. Tweet him @samspiegs.