Coming off their first Super Bowl Championship in franchise history, the Seattle Seahawks have 13/2 preseason odds to repeat as champions. They have what is widely regarded as the best defense in the league and their offense was led by a running attack that averaged 136.8 yards per game, which was fourth best in the NFL last season. However, things may not be so green in the Emerald City, as Marshawn Lynch has announced that he is going to sit out until he gets a restructured deal. Even though Lynch has been a staple for Seattle since 2010, the Hawks haven’t shown any sign of budging to bring the four-time Pro Bowler back to camp.
In 2012, Lynch had a career high with 1,590 yards. He would follow that up in 2013 with 1,257 yards, which was sixth highest in the league among running backs, while also leading the NFL with 12 rushing touchdowns. Lynch also set career marks with 36 receptions and 316 receiving yards.
Despite his success and being an undeniably important part of the Seahawks offense, Seattle is known for not budging on players simply because they have expensive contracts. In 2012 the team brought in Matt Flynn, who was subsequently beat out by Russell Wilson. This made Flynn one of the highest paid benchwarmers in the league, but it came with the fact that Wilson would step in to the starting lineup, and step up to what the Seahawks expected of him.
Now that Lynch is expressing his own frustrations, the Seahawks are hoping that they have the same amount of success with finding a potential predecessor. Their two options consist of Robert Turbin and Christine Michael.
Turbin is in his third year in the league after being drafted with the 106 overall pick in 2012. In 2013, Turbin ran for 264 yards on 77 attempts. He has, however, failed to find the end zone during his pro career.
Michael has even less experience than Turbin, rushing for just 79 yards on 18 attempts during his rookie season last year. But while he may not have touched the ball very often, he did average 4.4 yards per carry, which was just slightly better than Lynch.
The Seahawks opened up training camp last week with the noticeable absence of Lynch. However, they’ve continued to go through drills with both Turbin and Michael inserted into the first team lineup.
If Lynch doesn’t play for the Seahawks this year, it’s certainly something that bettors will want to keep an eye on. Despite having the second best odds in the league, this will greatly change without having Lynch in the backfield. Seattle opens up their preseason schedule against Denver on August 7th, and it’s unlikely that Lynch will be suited up. Be sure to check back with sportspicks.com handicappers throughout the preseason to see if Lynch settles things and rejoins the team, or if his absence is something that truly hinders the success of the defending champions.