So, the Seattle Seahawks have traded for disgruntled Buffalo Bills running back Marshawn Lynch for the reported price of a fourth rounder in 2011 and a conditional pick in 2012 (probably based on either Lynch's number of carries or whether he's actually on the roster beyond this year).
First, this makes the running backs instantly better as a group. Julius Jones, whose skills were redundant and not useful to the Seahawks, had reached the point of being declared inactive for Sunday's game against St. Louis. As a powerful, punishing back, Lynch brings a different skill set to the group -- ESPN.com NFC West blogger Mike Sando called him "instantly ... the most physically gifted runner on the team."
How might he be used?
I wouldn't bank on him suddenly becoming the feature back. My guess is that he'll essentially split the workload with Forsett -- at least at first -- and immediately take over short-yardage and goal line carries. (So, yes, for those of you looking for the fantasy football impact of the Lynch trade ... I think that's what's most significant.) And the possibility certainly exists that Lynch ends up in the 18- to 20-carry range.
The price seems a little steep to me, given that this was a guy who clearly had no future in Buffalo. But I admire the boldness of the move, given that the NFC West is a division there for the taking. Where we were criticizing Pete Carroll and John Schneider before the season for making moves that clearly made the team worse, this one clearly makes it better. I don't know if it's a net positive when you factor in the Josh Wilson deal -- essentially, the Seahawks will be sending the pick they got from the Ravens over for Lynch, so it's pretty much a Wilson-for-Lynch scenario -- but it's close enough to bear watching as it develops.
All in all? Hard not to like the move, especially with a bye week to work Lynch into the gameplan.