After 11 seasons in the NFL, playing in Buffalo, Seattle, and Oakland, running back Marshawn Lynch (aka Beast Mode) plans to retire, according to league sources. The news broke on Wednesday, as ESPN's Adam Schefter reported league sources told him Lynch is "not planning on playing football again."
This, as many avid NFL fans will remember, is Beast Mode's second time retiring from the game. Back in 2016, following an injury-marred '15 campaign with the Seahawks, Lynch announced his retirement via Twitter. He had signed a two-year/$24 million contract extension ahead of the 2015 season with Seattle.
Marshawn will go down as one of the best talents ever to come out of the Bay Area. He attended Oakland Tech High School in the East Bay, where he was lauded for his abilities, earning him a #2 overall national ranking at the running back position behind Adrian Peterson. From there, he took his talents to college, remaining close to home, enrolling in UC Berkeley.
Through three seasons at Cal, Lynch racked up 3,230 rushing yards, 600 yards receiving, and 35 total touchdowns (29 rushing). Those stats would land Marshawn near the top of most draft boards heading into the 2007 NFL Draft. Ultimately, with the 12th overall selection, the Buffalo Bills would take Marshawn.
Beast Mode would have some success, up in Buffalo, in his stint that lasted just over three seasons. He would go on to record over 1,000 rushing yards in each of his first two seasons with the Bills and was selected to the 2008 Pro-Bowl. Buffalo, however, would trade Lynch to the Seahawks during the 2010 season.
In Seattle, the true Beast Mode was born. He went on to produce hearty rushing numbers over his first four full seasons with the Seahawks:
2011: 1,204 YDS, 12 TD
2012: 1,509 YDS, 11 TD
2013: 1,257 YDS, 12 TD
2014: 1,306 YDS, 13 TD
From 2011-2014, each year, Marshawn was selected to the Pro-Bowl. He also did such a phenomenal job during the 2012 season that he was given First-Team All-Pro honors. Lynch won a Super Bowl with Seattle in 2013, but was caught up in the team's 2014 Super Bowl loss to the Patriots, following his coach's failure to give him the ball on four consecutive goal-line attempts, with the game on the line and the team trailing.
In 2017, his long journey finally led him back home to Oakland and a Raiders team that had just come off of an excellent 12-4 season and playoff berth. After taking a year off, the Oakland native was granted a trade from his former team (Seahawks) to the Raiders for Oakland's 2018 fifth-round draft pick. Seattle also sent over their sixth-round pick in the deal.
Things looked bright both for Marshawn and the Oakland Raiders, ahead of the 2017 season, but that brightness would give way to the murky cloudiness of mediocrity, as Oakland would fail to return to the level of play they showcased in 2016. On Lynch's part, he played just about as well as anyone could have expected. During the 2017 season, Lynch rushed for a respectable 891 yards and scored seven touchdowns. In 2018, taking on a heavily-reduced role in coach Jon Gruden's first season back with the team, Marshawn was relegated to 376 yards on the ground and 3 touchdowns.
With several running backs already on the Oakland roster and having had his role significantly diminished, it's no wonder Marshawn decided it was probably time to officially walk away and ride off into the sunset. For Bay Area fans, the pleasure was all theirs, watching Beast Mode return home and run over the competition for two seasons in silver and black.