|- Troy Photo: Getty Images - Otto Greule Jr|
- Troy Ballard
Don't call it a comeback.
Because, after all, when looking over the numbers, Marshawn Lynch was equally as good in Buffalo as he has been in Seattle.
Sure, last season could easily be called a breakout year, with Lynch making his second Pro-Bowl, scoring 12 touchdowns and racking up 1,204 yards on the ground. But he had two consecutive 1,000 yard seasons after being drafted with the Bills, and he even posted similar touchdown numbers.
It's a strange phenomena in the NFL, and it doesn't happen often, but Lynch was caught in the middle of it. There's a reason why he wasn't getting top running back recognition before, despite mostly solid numbers -- he was a punk.
Most are quick to forget that when Lynch was shipped off the Bills he was labeled with the ominous: high-risk high-reward. And although the trade was about as low-risk as possible -- Buffalo only received a fourth-round pick in return for what was expected to be the future of the Bills' backfield -- bringing on Marshawn was still a gamble.
Due to a series of legal bouts that started with what was an alarming hit-and-run investigation, and ended with a concealed firearm charge, it seemed that his future was set to end in a very unceremonious fashion.
Buffalo tossed in the towel, and after the 2009 season in which Lynch only played in four games due to suspensions, it became unclear if he had any chance of making a return to relevance.
But with no team more desperate than the Seahawks for support in the running game -- still suffering that nasty Shaun Alexander hangover -- Seattle jumped at the chance to possibly land another feature back, legal troubles aside.
The overall reception for Lynch in Seattle was mixed, some analysts claiming that it was a poor move given the current roster and others saying that the Seahawks really had nothing to lose. Overall, it was a question mark to how he would fit into Pete Carroll's system and what would happen moving forward.
How things have turned..
Within two seasons in Seattle, and with that fresh start, Lynch has managed to propel himself back into the elite group of top running backs in the NFL. He has totally re-invented himself by staying out of legal trouble, dedicating himself in practice and on the field and has brought the punch back to the Seahawks' running game.
Lynch's explosion back into the NFL was marked by his heroic run in which he out-ran and out-hustled the entire New Orleans Saints' defense and sealed the Seahawks first notable playoff win in three-years.
Due to his undeniable value to Seattle, the Seahawks rewarded Lynch this off-season with a hefty four-year contract that maxes at $31 million and includes $17 million guaranteed. It was a fitting price for a player that has re-energized an entire offense and is only going to get better at 26-years-old.
It's not a comeback, as Lynch really hadn't lost anything other than his focus and desire to play in the NFL. But it's obvious now that in the right situation, he has been able to change his attitude and deliver at a similar level as before.
Here's to another four-years of Skittles Lynch tearing up the NFL.
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