His teammates and fans are definitely going to miss him. But the retirement of Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch isn’t really a bad thing for the team. KPLU sports commentator Art Thiel explains why.
Beyond Beast Mode
"I think the Seahawks offense has grown past him," Thiel said.
"The second half of last season, it was very impressive how [quarterback] Russell Wilson took command. It seems as if he really didn't need a superstar running back.
"They had the highest productivity in the NFL in the second half of the season - mostly because they evolved into a sharper, shorter, crisper, faster passing attack.
"Some of the critics of Russell Wilson have said 'You know, he really can't carry a team. He's been very successful because of a dominating defense and a superstar running back.'
"Well, they didn't have the running back and they flourished," Thiel pointed out.
"That told me - and I think it told [head coach] Pete Carroll and [general manager] John Schneider - that if they have a good running attack, with Thomas Rawls who was a rookie who broke his ankle this last year, they're going to be able to survive without 'The Beast.'
"It's not going to be the same. It's not saying that Rawls is the equivalent. But the offense has evolved past the need to have somebody as dynamic, dramatic and maybe a little bit eccentric like Marshawn Lynch."
Tension 'Always There'
Thiel said those personality traits caused tension between Lynch and Carroll.
"It was a low boil but it was always there," he said.
"I call Marshawn Lynch a genius athlete. He does things that no one else does in the league. And he's so good at that, that he's indulged his eccentricities.
"He is a different cat all the way around. Very smart. And he also knows how to manipulate things such as practice time or contracts. But he does push the limits.
"I think the tension between Carroll and Lynch was fairly distinctive but I give Carroll the great credit for managing the situation so that it never got out of control.
"I don't think Marshawn would have flourished with any other NFL team outside of Seattle because Carroll is very good at that," Thiel continued.
"Even though it was uncomfortable and awkward sometimes for the Seahawks, especially with Marshawn's resistance to doing media cooperation and those sorts of things, it really was a net benefit to both parties to have Marshawn here where he was allowed to be himself without compromising the team values."
Retirement On His Terms
Thiel said that Lynch even retired on his own terms, posting a photo of cleats hanging on a wire.
"A photo and no words. It very dramatic, very poignant and very Marshawn," he laughed.
So, what does the future hold for Marshawn Lynch?
"He's the anti-hero. Marshawn is the guy that doesn't speak to anyone but when he does speak, everybody listens. I think he's going to have some public capacity role.
"If you're going to believe the report that came out this week, Marshawn Lynch saved all of his $49 million he earned.
"He lived on endorsement money and he didn't use any of his salary money. Of course, the government has half of it. But that's $25 million in the bank for Marshawn. He could do a lot of things with that.
"He never has to work again but when he does, it's going to be on his terms and everybody else is going to run to his door.
"So, I'm really interested to see what becomes of Marshawn Lynch when he's not a football player. It should be a lot of fun for all of us to watch."
Something else that's fun to watch is the Seahawks' touching farewell to Beast Mode that the team posted on its website www.seahawks.com.