What if is always a risky statement to try to get around. Many people don’t believe in a “what if” because they believe that everything happens for a reason and it’s just time move on. But the majority of people like to sit around and ponder what would be happening right now if only a certain event had never occurred.
So, what if Marshawn Lynch was never traded to the Seattle Seahawks organization after week four in the 2010 season?
Truth be told, you, me, and the guy sitting to your right have no clue but we’re going to sit here and guess.
First, let’s recap his career in Western New York. Buffalo was just coming off a 7-9 season under head coach Dick Jauron and they were in need of a running back after Willis McGahee was traded to Baltimore. Lynch was then drafted 12th overall in the 2007 NFL draft out of California. With Lynch, and whoever was going to start at quarterback, the Buffalo offense looked to be on the rise and ready to compete.
Lynch’s rookie season saw him break out to the tune of over 1,100 yards and seven touchdowns. 2008 was just as productive, running for just under 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns. He was also included more in the passing game, accumulating 47 catches and his first receiving touchdown. However, just before that 2008 season, his off-the-field issues starting popping up and his stay in Buffalo started to get snowy.
In June of ’08, Lynch pleaded guilty to a traffic violation and admitted to driving off after striking a female pedestrian with his car in downtown Buffalo near the bar district. To follow that up, Lynch was charged a mere nine months later after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge in Los Angeles after police discovered a semiautomatic handgun in a backpack of the trunk of of a parked car he was sitting in.
Following the last charge is when Lynch’s stay in Buffalo started to wear itself out. In the 2009 season his production dropped off after starting in only six games, rushing for under 400 yards and just two touchdowns. The following season Lynch was traded to the Seattle Seahawks after just four games into the season.
12th Man Rising
In that trade, Buffalo was given a 2011 fourth-round pick and a conditional fifth-round pick in 2012. Those picks were used on Chris Hairston, offensive lineman out of Clemson and Tank Carder, inside linebacker out of Texas Christian University, respectively. Those picks haven’t paired out, as Hairston hasn’t produced at a high enough level to be a competitive NFL lineman and Carder, well, he didn’t even make it onto the active roster and was cut before the season even started.
We’re all aware of what’s happened to “Beast Mode’s” career since arriving in Seattle. He’s done everything the 12’s could want and more, rushing for over 1,000 yard in each of the past four seasons and being a pivotal part to the success the Seahawks have seen during consecutive playoff runs.
That’s all great for Seattle, but what about Buffalo? Clearly they got the butt end of the deal. Had they stuck with Lynch, would they be in the spot the New England Patriots are in right now?
While Lynch is a core player in a very effective offense, I believe he wouldn’t have made as large of a difference for Buffalo as he has with Seattle. He may have been the key player that would have gotten Buffalo to the playoffs this season, but a Super Bowl bid? No way. Either way, whether he’s on the West or East coast, he has the opportunity to prevent the Patriots from obtaining a fourth Lombardi trophy in the Tom Brady-Bill Belichick era.
So, if it’s just for a few hours on Super Bowl Sunday, let’s all jump on the Seattle bandwagon and watch Beast Mode go to work.