INDIANAPOLIS – Based on conversations he had with Marshawn Lynch's agent, Doug Hendrickson, Seahawks general manager John Schneider knew there was a good chance that the Pro Bowl running back might be headed towards retirement.
Schneider also knew that, Lynch being Lynch, the announcement might come in an unusual manner, which was indeed the case when Lynch posted on Twitter a picture of his cleats hanging from a power line with a "peace out" emoji during Super Bowl 50.
"The guy's never been a spotlight guy, it's never been just about him, especially with his teammates, so I think the way he went out is indicative of the type of player and the type of guy he is—peace symbol and his cleats hanging on a wire," Schneider said Wednesday from the NFL scouting combine, his first public appearance since Lynch's retirement. "I had talked to his agent about, so I knew there was a chance something like that was coming."
Lynch's retirement announcement wasn't just fitting for a player whose game spoke far louder than his words, it also was helpful for the Seahawks given its timing. Had Lynch waited longer to decide if he wanted to play or not in 2016, it would have left the Seahawks a bit in limbo not knowing the future of their star back. Instead they can evaluate the draft and free agency knowing Lynch isn't a part of their plans going forward.
"He definitely helped us doing it when he did it in terms of being able to move forward and project for the season, how we can plan," Schneider said.
And in case there was any doubt what Lynch's tweet symbolized, Schneider clarified saying, "He's retired yeah. Hence, the cleats on the wire. … He has indicated to us he's retiring."
Schneider also echoed the sentiments so many others have shared about Lynch and what he meant to the franchise since arriving in a 2010 trade with Buffalo, a move that will go down as one of Schneider's best as Seattle's GM.
"Marshawn helped us change the culture of our organization," Schneider said. "… When you talk about when we got here, it was all about establishing this toughness, this bully mentality, and he really helped us do that—on the defensive side of the ball too—it wasn't just about how he ran the football."
Seahawks coaches, scouts and front office staff are out in Indianapolis to watch draft-class talent preform at Lucas Oil Stadium for the 2016 NFL Scouting Combine.