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Feb 20, 2015 7:13 PM

Carroll remains hopeful Marshawn Lynch returns to Seahawks

The Associated Press

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) Seahawks coach Pete Carroll put the ball right in Marshawn Lynch's hands Friday.

Yes, he wants his top runner to come back and make another Super Bowl run next season.

A day after general manager John Schneider said he wouldn't be "shocked" if Lynch retired, Carroll put on a full-court press.

"He has been an integral part of our program for five years and loved the contribution he has brought," Carroll said. "We would really like to move at that swiftly, it's such a big deal as it has always been to get our lead players intact so we are working at that now."

The 28-year-old running back is reportedly contemplating retirement despite having one more year on his contract at $7 million.

Why would he leave?

Lynch wants a long-term deal in a league that doesn't put much value in running backs over 30 years old.

Then, in this month's Super Bowl loss to New England, the Seahawks threw the ball in a goal-line situation rather than give it to their big back and the pass was picked off, sealing Seattle's fate.

Carroll tried to turn the page on that chapter at the NFL's annual scouting combine in Indianapolis and thanked Patriots coach Bill Belichick for offering his support on the decision.

"I care. We all care about that. And Bill is an extraordinary coach, anything he says people should listen to," Carroll said. "In this case, he's just respecting coaching. He understands the game. He knows what was going on, exactly. ... For him to take the moment to do that, it's very gracious of him."

Seattle is ready to move on from that forgettable play.

Nothing would help more than starting next season with Lynch in the backfield.

"We have been in earnest a great deal of time now negotiating to get Marshawn back with us in every way that we can," Carroll said. "It's been an ongoing, long process and we have had big offers out and we continue to work with that. We are excited about the future."



AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/AP_NFL


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