Bucks-mode time: Lynch signs new $31M, three-year deal
Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch runs against New England Patriots nose tackle Alan Branch (97) during Super Bowl XLIX at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Ariz. (Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports)
Beastmode is coming back. For bigger bucks.
On another day of big NFL moves, Marshawn Lynch re-signed Friday night with the Seattle Seahawks.
Just a couple hours after it was reported he was flying to Seattle to meet with Seahawks brass to maybe sign off on a huge raise, ProFootballTalk.com reported he had done so.
The human piston who drives the Seattle engine, Lynch will be paid $12 million this season, PFT said: a $7.5-million signing bonus and a $4.5-million salary, fully guaranteed.
It's a cool $31 million to him if Lynch plays all three years of the new deal.
The NFL's most reclusive, evasive and not-used-often-enough-on-the-one-yard-line running back had signed a four-year, $30-million deal in 2012. By that contract he was set to earn $5 million this year, with an additional $2 million roster bonus.
So he just got a $5 million raise for his ninth NFL season, after probably playing his best football in his eighth.
Lynch turns 29 on April 22. He had been mulling since the Super Bowl whether to continue playing, reports said.
If Lynch decides to play in 2016, he's now contracted to earn a base salary of $9 million, and he'd earn $7 million in 2017 plus a $3-million roster bonus due on the fifth day of the 2017 league year, PFT reported.
To clear some cap space, the Seahawks terminated the contract of long-time tight end Zach Miller, for failing his physical. That would seem to cement La Salle, Ont.'s Luke Willson as Seattle's starting tight end.
The Seahawks also waived OT Garrett Scott, DT Jesse Williams and signed DE Greg Scruggs to a one-year deal.
MARSHALL A JET: A couple days after the Buffalo Bills made a couple of eye-opening trades, their AFC East rivals did likewise.
On Friday the division's other offensively offensive team made its first big off-season move, sending a fifth-round draft pick to Chicago to obtain wide receiver Brandon Marshall, multiple reports said.
The trade hinges on Marshall passing his physical, ESPN's Adam Schefter reported.
Trades this week are not official until the start of the new league year, Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.
This is the third time Marshall has been traded -- previously from Denver to Miami, and Miami to Chicago.
He is set to earn $7.7 million in 2015.
BYE-BYE, HARVIN?: The Jets acquisition of Marshall all but cements Percy Harvin's imminent departure. Harvin is due to earn $10.5 million this year.
Some reports said the Jets might try to trade Harvin, but he's also set to earn $9.9 million, $9.95 million and $11.15 million from 2016-18. Good luck with that.
It was just 24 months ago that the Seahawks acquired Harvin in a trade with the Vikings. To do so they had to -- get this -- give up first- and seventh-round draft picks in 2013, a third-rounder in 2014 and then re-sign Harvin to a six-year, $64.3-million deal.
After two years Harvin has earned almost $21 million of it. How much more, if any, he'll earn remains to be seen.
SORRY, REX: Meantime, the Jets also made a big defensive move on Friday, re-signing David Harris to a three-year deal. It means Bills head coach Rex Ryan can't obtain his favourite middle linebacker next week in free agency. Reports out of New York claimed Ryan had his heart set on acquiring Harris, who will reportedly earn $21.5 million under the new contract, including $15 million guaranteed.
COLTS, WAYNE PART WAYS: The Colts announced they won't try to re-sign 14-year WR Reggie Wayne, who ranked seventh in NFL history with 1,070 catches. Wayne blew out a knee midway through the 2013 season, just had surgery to repair a torn triceps and, at age 36, reportedly was mulling retirement anyway. He may decide to continue playing elsewhere.
"Reggie is one of the greatest men to ever wear the horseshoe," Colts owner Jim Irsay said. "When he first took the field with us in 2001, we knew this day would eventually arrive. That reality is one of the things that makes pro football such a tough business.
"I look forward to the day in the near future when our great No. 87 enters the Colts Ring of Honor and the Pro Football Hall of Fame."
RESTRUCTURED: In their desperation to get under the salary cap, the Saints convinced WR Marques Colston to redo his contract, reports said. The 31-year-old's previous contract would have counted $9.7 million toward the Saints' 2015 cap, but reports said that number will now drop by "several" million dollars. The team still has trimming to do by Tuesday at 4 p.m. ET.
SIGNED ELSEWHERE: WR/KR Jacoby Jones, cut last week by the Ravens, signed a reported two-year, $5.5-million deal with the Chargers "¦ OT Michael Oher, cut by the Titans, signed a two-year deal with the OT-desperate Panthers.
STAYING PUT: Before he could become a free agent, the Chiefs re-signed ILB Josh Mauga to a three-year deal, Associated Press reported "¦ Lions QB Kellen Moore, the savvy but weak-armed backup in Detroit for the past three years who came from Boise State, re-signed for two more years. Maybe now he'll actually take a snap in a regular-season game "¦ The Bears re-signed second-string QB Jimmy Clausen to a one-year deal. If new Chicago GM Ryan Pace and head coach John Fox decide to trade or cut enigmatic quarterback Jay Cutler, Clausen's re-signing might prove a bit more significant.
CAP CASUALTIES: The Chiefs released DT Vance Walker after just one season. He previously played one year in Oakland, after spending his first four in Atlanta.
BOYD'S BACK: The Steelers signed QB Tajh Boyd, a sixth-round draft pick of the New York Jets last year. He was the short, wicked-armed but scattershot guy from Clemson.
JONES 'WON BUILDING' BEFORE SIGNING
Brett Jones "won the building" when he interviewed with New York Giants brass last month -- a big reason he's now a Giant, and no longer a Calgary Stampeder.
That's what Giants assistant GM Kevin Abrams told the Toronto Sun's Ryan Wolstat Friday at the University of Toronto.
Abrams, the Giants' cap expert and contract negotiator, returned to his hometown to serve on a panel called "Big Data and How We View Sports" at U of T's fourth annual sports-and-business conference.
Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Jones signed with the Giants on Feb. 11, after starring for two years at centre for the Stamps. He's just 23.
"Like any other player, we put on the tape, we watched him, we brought him in for a workout," Abrams told Wolstat. "Terrific kid, he really won the building when he came in in person, and met everybody.
"And there was enough on film -- it's a bit tough sometimes to project CFL to the American game, but we saw enough to give him a shot. (We're) looking forward to see what he does."
The Giants cut veteran centre J.D. Walton earlier this week in a cap-saving move. Whether Jones or last year's second-round draft pick, Weston Richburg, succeeds him probably will be determined on the field this spring or summer.
The Giants require better play from their offensive line if quarterback Eli Manning, in the twilight of his career, has any hope of ever guiding the team to a third Super Bowl berth.
"(Protecting Eli) is always a priority," Abrams said. "Sometimes we fall short on that, but it's always a priority. We're trying to get better everywhere. We haven't been to the playoffs in three years, so anywhere we can get better -- wherever the value is, that's where we are shopping."