Nearly four years after saying goodbye to Seattle with a single, wordless tweet that featured a picture of his cleats hanging from a telephone wire, Marshawn Lynch will lace them back up to play for the Seahawks this weekend.
OK, he probably won't lace up those same cleats seeing as they're four years old and all, but Lynch is indeed returning to football, having signed with the Seahawks, who on Sunday will host the San Francisco 49ers in a game that will determine the NFC West Championship.
When the Seahawks acquired Marshawn Lynch in a trade with Buffalo nine years ago, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said, "We bring a guy into the program that we think is going to give us a little boost." Nearly a decade later, the Seahawks are counting on Lynch to again provide a boost following season-ending injuries suffered on Sunday by running backs Chris Carson and C.J. Prosise, who were both placed on injured reserve Tuesday. The Seahawks are also bringing back Robert Turbin, who served as Lynch's backup from 2012-2014.
Before the move was official on Monday, Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said on 710 ESPN Seattle that he was "fired up" for a potential reunion with Lynch.
"He has been working really hard, he's really excited about the chance to do something helping out, and I think it's freakin' great if he can get out there and tote the ball for us," Carroll said. "The circumstances rolled just at this time, and he could have four or five games left in him, maybe that's what we need."
Lynch's legacy as a Seattle sports icon was long ago secured thanks to his memorable six-season run with the Seahawks that included a lot of winning, a Super Bowl title and some of the most memorable plays in franchise history, but if he can come in contribute to a playoff run, it will only add to his legend.
"At my age, this is a great opportunity to be able to come in and be able to help when needed, get in and do my little thing and get out, hopefully be able to help them go ahead and get to the Super Bowl that they should be playing for," Lynch said on a video posted Monday night to his Beast Mode Productions YouTube channel. "… I'm going to maximize my opportunity to the fullest."
Asked why he wanted to return to Seattle, Lynch responded, "We've got history there. We've got unfinished business."
During a six-year Seahawks career in which he was a four-time Pro Bowler and a two-time All-Pro, Lynch rushed for 1,200 or more yards and double-digit touchdown totals for four straight seasons from 2011 to 2014. But the impact he had on those teams, two of which reached the Super Bowl, went far beyond his production.
Carroll and general manager John Schneider made trading for Lynch a priority in 2010 because they saw him as a player who could help them establish the identity they were looking for in their young team. And Lynch more than delivered, setting the tone year after year with his physical play and his infectious spirit in the locker room.
"There's a lot of history here that's great history," Carroll said on Monday. "There was nobody that ever amplified the kind of mentality and toughness that we like to play with."
When the Seahawks were getting ready to play in a second-straight Super Bowl, then offensive line coach Tom Cable said of Lynch, "He's not carrying the football, he's carrying his team. That's who he is. That's what he does."
Former receiver Doug Baldwin once called Lynch, "The engine. He is the heart and soul of this offense."
A lot has changed since Lynch last played for the Seahawks and was "the heart and soul" of the offense, and it's probably unfair to expect him to jump right in and be the player he was during his previous tenure with the Seahawks. But when Lynch takes the field against the 49ers on Sunday, it will be an electric moment at CenturyLink Field, one the Seahawks hope can help jumpstart another playoff run.
Take a look back at some of the best photos from Robert Turbin's three seasons spent with the Seattle Seahawks as the running back rejoins the club in 2019.
Turbin, a fourth-round pick in 2012, spent his three seasons in Seattle primarily serving as the No. 2 back behind Lynch and as the team's third-down and two-minute back. After leaving Seattle, Turbin split the 2015 season between Dallas and Cleveland, then spent the past three years with the Indianapolis Colts. Over his seven seasons, Turbin has rushed for 1,354 yards and nine touchdowns on 355 carries, and has 86 receptions for 688 yards and three scores.
The Seahawks also made an addition to their practice squad Tuesday, signing defensive tackle Shakir Soto. Soto came into the league as an undrafted free agent in 2017 with the Denver Broncos, and has since spent time with the Raiders and Cowboys. The Seahawks had an opening on their practice squad having promoted Bryan Mone to the active roster late last week.
Take a look back at some of the best photos from Marshawn Lynch's six seasons spent with the Seattle Seahawks as the running back rejoins the club in 2019.