Denver Broncos: Marshawn Lynch Should Get a Call

Nov 22, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) sits on the bench during the fourth quarter of a 29-13 Seattle victory against the San Francisco 49ers at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 22, 2015; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch (24) sits on the bench during the fourth quarter of a 29-13 Seattle victory against the San Francisco 49ers at CenturyLink Field. Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

With the recent news of C.J. Anderson likely hitting IR after meniscus surgery, the Denver Broncos should see if Marshawn Lynch is interested in a comeback.

“Marshawn Lynch, how would you like to come compete for another Super Bowl?”  This is the phone call John Elway should be making at this very moment after news broke Thursday morning of C.J. Anderson heading to IR.  Anderson, who just turned in his best performance of the year Monday night, underwent surgery to repair a torn meniscus.  Whether he got a full repair or a trim will determine the length of the injury.

Given the fact that he’s expected to go on IR would likely indicate he had to have the full repair, ending his season.

What to Do?

The Broncos have a few options if C.J. is out for the year:

  • Promote Juwan Thompson from the practice squad and use Devontae Booker and Kapri Bibbs as the featured backs.
  • Trade for a veteran running back.
  • Sign a free agent back off the street.

Juwan Thompson is a great special teams player, but is more of a hybrid RB/FB and would also lose his practice squad eligibility if he were to be called up. This isn’t an ideal situation for the Broncos as they’d like to keep him on practice squad as long as possible.  It is also doubtful that the front office would like to give up anything more than a conditional pick for a running back, so a trade would seem unlikely as well.

Enter Beast Mode

What is likely is that the Broncos would try and sign a free agent that isn’t currently playing football.  While there are a few names out there, the name that would carry the most weight is retired running back Marshawn Lynch.  Rumor has it that Lynch was already considering a return to the NFL.  The injury to Anderson could be something that opens the door for him to return to the NFL.

More from Predominantly Orange

Marshawn Lynch to the Broncos would be tricky, but not impossible.  The first obstacle would be the contract situation.  If Lynch were to file for reinstatement, his rights would belong to the Seattle Seahawks.  The Seahawks would have the choice to renounce his rights or restructure the deal to fit him under their cap.  Seattle drafted three running backs in the 2016 draft, so it is unlikely they would look to keep him on their team.  The easiest choice for them would just be to cut him loose, leaving him free to sign with another team.

The Broncos would still have to offer him a good deal of money, but they would only have to pay an eight week salary.  The good news is the Broncos have a bit of cap space and could offer him enough money to make a return to the NFL worth it.  Playing for a championship contender and making a few million dollars to play eight to twelve games could be an opportunity that is too difficult to pass up.

The Fit

Marshawn Lynch is a veteran, and was one of the locker room staples in Seattle during their championship run.  C.J. Anderson has been a leader this season and his voice on the field will be sorely missed.  The Broncos could always sign one of the other running backs that are currently looking for work:

However, none of these names would be able to fill that leadership role except Marshawn Lynch.  Lynch would be a guy that some of the young guys in the locker room would respect and could be very helpful in the backfield next to a young Trevor Siemian or Paxton Lynch.

He isn’t nicknamed Beast Mode for no reason—Marshawn Lynch bruises would-be tacklers.  For a team that is looking to be a tough, physical team on the offensive side of the ball, Lynch fits in perfectly with what the Broncos want to do on offense.  He also is a good pass-catcher out backfield, similar to Anderson.  There is no doubt that Beast Mode could fit right in to this Broncos offense and would minimize the loss of C.J. Anderson.

What Now

Thus far, there is zero indication that the Broncos have reached out to Lynch, or that there is any interest on Lynch’s end to come play for the Broncos.  Since week one, the rumors of Lynch returning to the league have been silent.  Marshawn does have ties to C.J. Anderson, and given the need from the Broncos with Anderson going down, it only seems natural to rekindle those rumors.  If there was going to be a time, and place for a comeback, this would seem like the best opening he could ask for, and the best possible fit for the Broncos to replace their workhorse back.

Marshawn would get to split carries with rookie Devontae Booker, compete for a championship and earn a bunch of money for only a half a year’s worth of work.  Lynch should be fresh, and could prove to be a real difference maker for the Broncos in the playoffs.  If Lynch needs any further convincing, perhaps Elway could provide an unlimited Skittles clause in his contract, just for good measure.

Marshawn Lynch would look great in Orange and Blue.  He’d look even better holding another Lombardi and eating Skittles in Houston this February.  Come on Beast Mode—the Mile High City awaits.

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