Where do you place Marshawn Lynch in the pantheon of running backs of the 2010s? He should be pretty high up. In that decade he was second in rushing touchdowns (LeSean McCoy and Adrian Peterson tied for first), sixth in rushing yards and eighth in rushing yards per game.
Even through multiple retirements, Marshawn Lynch has been a force this decade. It's even more impressive considering he started in the decade prior. From his start on the Bills to his iconic playoff moments with the Seahawks and beyond, Lynch has been one of the best playmakers the NFL had over the past decade.
And of course, having played in the NFL for a decade and a half has helped net him a fortune. How much is the Seahawks running back worth?
Marshawn Lynch's Net Worth
Marshawn Lynch is been estimated to be worth as much as $30 million by Celebrity Net Worth, thanks to his lengthy career in the NFL, among other things. This season likely won't have much of an impact on this, as he only signed in time for the final game of the regular season.
Marshawn Lynch's Career
Lynch was one of the most highly regarded high school football players in the country, ultimately deciding to attend Cal and play college ball for the Golden Bears.
While he never started in his freshman season, Lynch impressed and put together some solid games, including a 121-yard rushing performance against Washington followed by a 122-yard rushing performance against Stanford the next week. Lynch also scored a touchdown in the Holiday Bowl against Texas Tech that year, though they were upset 45-31 in a loss to the Red Raiders.
Given the chance to have a starting role in his sophomore year, Marshawn broke out in a big way. He surpassed 100 rushing yards in 6 of the 9 games he appeared in during the regular season, including a 189-yard 2 touchdown performance against Oregon. Cal made the Las Vegas Bowl against Brigham Young University and came out victorious in a 35-28 game, thanks in large part to a monster performance from Lynch: 194 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns. He was named bowl MVP and finished the season with 1,246 rushing yards.
Lynch had a career high in games played and rushing yards in his junior year, helping the team rebound from a loss in their first game and win their next eight games. Once again Cal made a bowl game, throttling Texas A&M 45-10 in the 2006 Holiday Bowl. Lynch had 11 rushing yards on 20 attempts with two touchdowns. It would be his last game for the Golden Bears, declaring for the NFL draft instead of playing his senior year.
After his illustrious college career, Lynch became a first-rounder in the 2007 NFL draft, selected 12th overall by the Buffalo Bills.
Unlike in college, Lynch got the chance to start immediately in the NFL, resulting in a 1,000+ yard rushing season in his rookie year. The highlight came in early November, when Lynch rushed for 153 yards and a touchdown in a win over the Bengals.
Lynch kept up this momentum in his second season, again surpassing 1,000 rushing yards. With 1,036 yards on the ground and eight rushing touchdowns, Lynch made his first-ever Pro Bowl after the 2008 season, establishing himself as one of the game's up-and-coming star running backs.
The 2009 season, though, was a step back. A weapons charge in the offseason led to the NFL suspending Lynch for the first three games of the season, and he never found consistency upon his return. He ended up being usurped by Fred Jackson on the depth chart and finished with just 450 rushing yards in 13 games.
Lynch appeared in the first four games of the 2010 season for the Bills, but failed to score a touchdown or surpass 79 yards in a game.
After these games, the Bills traded Lynch to the Seattle Seahawks in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2011 draft and a fifth-round pick in the 2012 draft. Lynch got the starting role for the rest of the season for Seattle, but other than a three-touchdown performance against Carolina in December, did not make much noise in the regular season.
The playoffs, however, is where the legend of Marshawn Lynch began. Seattle became the first team to make the playoffs with a losing record, winning the NFC West at 7-9, and were underdogs against Drew Brees and the visiting Saints. But the Seahawks stunned New Orleans with a 41-36 victory, the highlight of which was a 67-yard touchdown run from Lynch. A tough, bruising run where Lynch broke tackle after tackle, the touchdown became the defining play of that game and those entire playoffs, even though the Seahawks lost the next game.
Seattle didn't make the playoffs in 2011, but the season was a major return to form for Lynch, who had 1,204 rushing yards on the season and made another Pro Bowl. He broke 100 rushing yards in six of his 15 games, the highlight being 148 with two touchdowns against the Eagles.
2012 became a turning point in the Seahawks franchise: the rookie season of Russell Wilson. Wilson's rookie year was a solid one not just because of him, but because Marshawn Lynch had the greatest season of his career; appearing in all 16 games for the first time in his career, Lynch obliterated his career high and finished the season with 1,590 rushing yards, third in the NFL. Making the playoffs as a wild card team, Seattle defeated Washington in the first round thanks in large part to Lynch's 132 rushing yards and touchdown before falling to Matt Ryan's Falcons in the next round. After the season, Lynch was named to his first All-Pro First Team and signed a four-year extension worth $30 million in the offseason.
Lynch had another outstanding year in 2013 with 1,257 rushing yards and led the league with 12 rushing touchdowns. Thanks to their strong running game and elite defense, the Seahawks went 13-3 and earned a first-round bye in the playoffs. Lynch had 140 rushing yards and two touchdowns against the Saints in the Divisional Round and 109 yards and a touchdown against the 49ers in the NFC Championship as the team made the Super Bowl, Lynch's first.
Marshawn scored a touchdown on 39 rushing yards in Super Bowl XLVIII, but he was hardly the story; that elite Seattle defense demolished the Broncos en route to a 43-8 blowout, ensuring both Lynch and the Seahawks franchise their first Super Bowl victory.
In 2014, Seattle was once again a dominant team and Lynch was once again a dominant force in the backfield with 1,306 rushing yards. Seattle once again made the playoffs, and thanks in part to a 157-yard rushing performance from Lynch, came back to defeat Aaron Rodgers' Packers in the NFC Championship to return to the Super Bowl.
Facing the vaunted Brady and Belichick Patriots, Lynch rushed for 102 yards as the Seahawks were on the verge of a last-minute touchdown to secure back-to-back championships. However, instead of running Lynch on the 1-yard line like many expected them to, Wilson attempted a pass that was intercepted by Malcolm Butler. The Seahawks lost 28-24.
After this loss, the Seahawks again gave Lynch a contract extension: two years, $24 million. Through the first 10 weeks of the 2015 season, Lynch had just 417 rushing yards before requiring surgery for a sports hernia, ending his regular season. Seattle made the playoffs and Lynch was able to return for their second game in the playoffs, but managed just 20 yards on six attempts as they fell to the Panthers.
On the day that Panthers team played the Broncos for Super Bowl 50, Lynch tweeted a picture of his cleats hanging up on a wire along with a peace sign emoji. This was to signal his retirement from the NFL, something that had been rumored for a little bit in the wake of his injury. Indeed, Marshawn Lynch had retired from the NFL.
Then a year later he was not retired from the NFL. Lynch sat out the 2016 season in retirement, but rumors grew louder after the season that he may be interested in a return to the NFL. And that was confirmed as Seattle traded his contract to the Oakland Raiders in exchange for draft picks. Lynch subsequently signed a two-year, $9 million contract with the Raiders, and he was ready to return and play the 2017 NFL season.
Lynch's 2017 season, though, was an up and down one. He rushed for seven touchdowns, but failed to surpass 1,000 rushing yards. Lynch also got into an altercation with an official in a game midseason, which resulted in a one-game suspension.
His 2018 season started stronger, with a rushing touchdown in each of the first three games of the season, but it was cut short just six weeks in as Lynch suffered a season-ending groin injury.
His contract up after these two seasons, Lynch once again decided to hang up his cleats and retire.
Return to Seahawks
A year later, he un-retired again. The 2019 Seahawks were competing for not just a Wild Card spot, but the NFC West title. But injuries to Chris Carson, Rashaad Penny and C.J. Prosise — the top three running backs on the depth chart — had them in desperate need. So with one game to go in the season, a game against the 49ers that would determine who was the division winner and who was a Wild Card team, Seattle announced that they were signing Lynch to a contract.
Marshawn was available for that final game of the regular season, and while he scored a rushing touchdown, Seattle lost. He again rushed for a touchdown in their first playoff game against the Eagles, which they won.
Marshawn Lynch's Contract: How Much Does He Make?
According to Spotrac, Lynch will be making $60,588 for the 2019 "season" that he signed for just before the last game — a fraction of the average NFL salary, though still higher than the average annual income in the U.S.
2019 is the 12th NFL season Lynch has participated in, and according to Spotrac he has combined to make nearly $56.8 million in cash earnings from his football career.
Marshawn Lynch's Endorsements
At one point, during the peak of Lynch's fame as an NFL star, Lynch claimed he didn't spend his NFL salary because he made enough from his endorsement deals.
That's because Lynch has had some particularly big-name endorsement deals like Nike (NKE) - Get Report, Microsoft (MSFT) - Get Report, Pepsi (PEP) - Get Report, Progressive (PGR) - Get Report and, of course, his beloved Skittles.