Lynch signs multiyear contract

Seattle's running game features Marshawn Lynch, who went "Beast Mode" with this stiff arm in the second half.

Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks’ leading rusher the past two seasons, signed a multiyear contract today to remain with the club.

The deadline to place franchise tags on players is Monday, and the Seahawks were prepared to designate Lynch. But both sides preferred a multiyear contract and the ongoing negotiations intensified as the deadline approached. Lynch was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent March 13.

“We are excited to keep Marshawn as an important part of what we are building,” general manager John Schneider said. “This is what we were hoping for when we acquired him from Buffalo.”

FEATURE: Seahawks retain leading rusher

Lynch, who was obtained in a trade with the Bills on Oct. 5, 2010, posted career-highs in rushing yards (1,204) and touchdowns (13) last season. He became the Seahawks’ first 1,000-yard rusher since Shaun Alexander in 2005 and also scored in a club-record 11 consecutive games – which broke Alexander’s mark of nine, which was set in ’05. Lynch, 25, also had 100-yard rushing efforts in six of the final nine games to spark a second-half surge that saw the Seahawks finish 5-3 after starting the season 2-6.

HIGHLIGHTS: Marshawn’s 2011 highlights

An alternate to the Pro Bowl, Lynch was added to the NFC roster as an injury replacement and rushed for a team-high 43 yards on eight carries.

Lynch ran for 573 yards and six touchdowns in 12 games in 2010 after coming over in the trade with the Bills.

TICKETS: Place a 2012 season ticket depost

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