Lynch has run beast mode all over the NFL for the last 5 seasons. He was about to retire until the Seahawks coaxed him out of that talk by extending his deal with a cool $24M top up to his existing deal. The big issue that is raised about Lynch are his recurring back issues so let’s take a closer look in discussing his 2015 outlook.
Lynch faces a very real problem in his back but one that he has been dealing with since 2007. He suffers from compressed cartilage in his vertebra or cervical spondylosis. Basically the cartilage in-between the vertebra act as a shock absorber to protect the nerve ending in the spine. Due to several reasons (age, genetics, trauma etc) the cartilage solidifies to bone pinching nerve endings and causing muscle spasms in the back. We have several thousand injuries in our database but Lynch is our only documented case of someone playing through this type of injury. As far as we know he has not undergone any surgery on his spine which leaves him with muscle relaxant, pain medication and rehab to get through the shooting pains this issue is causing him.
He has missed one game due to back pain in the last 5 seasons. Outside of that he has managed the pain and played at an elite level. There is no reason to think that this is the year he falls apart.
Also – looking closer at the deal he signed with the Seahawks you can see how high the organization is on him. He was coaxed out of retirement with a two year extension to his one year remaining with the Seahawks for an additional $24M making his total earned over the next 3 years $31M. This from a team who won’t commit long term to a quarterback who has taken them to back-to-back Super Bowls. The ‘Hawks have ponied up to the production and bought in to the durability of Lynch – there is a strong argument to say that you should to.