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Franchise Tag For Marshawn Lynch? Reports Say Team Will Use Designation If Contract Talks Stall

The Seahawks want to retain Marshawn Lynch; that is no secret. They traded a 2011 4th round pick and a conditional 2012 pick that was recently escalated to a 5th rounder for the former Buffalo running back in order to acquire their offensive mainstay. They've built the offense to run -- using three high draft picks on offensive linemen in the past two seasons and churning through backup players to add depth on the line. They brought in Robert Gallery. They traded for both Lynch and Leon Washington. They brought in Tom Cable to coach the line and improve the run game. It's logical to assume that they're not going to let Marshawn Lynch just waltz into free agency.

Now, according to Jason La Canfora of, the Seahawks are "deep" in contract talks with Lynch, so we can assume they're doing their best to bring him back for a reasonable and fair length of time and cost. As he notes:

"The Seahawks are deep in talks with running back Marshawn Lynch on a long-term deal, which could well be completed before the March 5 deadline."

But, adds La Canfora:

"If that somehow falls apart, the Seahawks are prepared to tag Lynch, according to a source with knowledge of the situation."

This is what I've heard from multiple reports and it's really a logical conclusion anyway. The cost to keep Lynch around for a year, under the franchise tag designation, is going to be somewhere in the $7.7 million range, so it wouldn't be crippling to a team with a good amount of cap space. They'd be smart to avoid giving Lynch too grand of a contract, and most teams are pretty gun-shy about doing so with any running back. In this league, the life expectancy for a running back is extremely short and Marshawn will be 26 by the time the season rolls around. They'll likely look to keep him on a three- or four-year deal worth $6-$7 million a year, but that's just my guess. We'll see in the next couple of weeks.

For more on the Seahawks, head over to Field Gulls. Do it. Do it.