Seattle Seahawks fans might want to consider stocking up on Skittles. Marshawn Lynch is staying put.
The Seahawks' bulldozing, candy-loving running back signed a four-year contract Sunday night that will keep him in a Seattle uniform for the prime of his NFL career and coming off his finest season.
Lynch's contract is worth $31 million, including $18 million guaranteed, a league source told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
Lynch rushed for 1,204 yards and 12 touchdowns last season and embodied the attitude coach Pete Carroll wanted the rest of his roster to emulate. Lynch also showed a maturity this season that might have been absent in the past.
That maturity was evident midseason when Seattle was struggling at midseason and Lynch had rushed for more than 80 yards just once. He sat down with assistant head coach Tom Cable to ask what he could do as a back to become more productive.
The result was six 100-yard games over the final nine weeks. In the three games during which Lynch failed to top 100 yards, he rushed for more than 80 twice and had two touchdowns rushing the other time as the Seahawks won five of their final eight games and made a late surge for playoff spot. Lynch was the first running back this season to score a touchdown rushing against San Francisco in Week 16. In the season finale against Arizona, Lynch was held out of the end zone to snap a franchise-record streak of 11 consecutive games with a TD.
The deal means that Lynch will likely hold late first round value in 2012 fantasy drafts. Thanks in no small part to O-line coach Tom Cable, Lynch rushed for at least 86 yards and/or a TD in his final 12 games.