It had been speculated for months by those outside the wall of One Bills Drive. On Tuesday afternoon it became reality as the Bills traded running back Marshawn Lynch to the Seattle Seahawks for undisclosed draft choices.
"Marshawn has worked hard and played hard for us this season and we certainly appreciate his efforts," said Bills GM Buddy Nix. "We are constantly evaluating our personnel and feel that this is a good move for our team's future."
Lynch made no secret that he wouldn't mind if he had the opportunity to get a fresh start with another NFL club in the offseason, but the Bills maintained a consistent stance that they wanted him on their roster.
However, Buffalo is also trying to rebuild their roster under Nix and new head coach Chan Gailey, and the opportunity to deal from a position of strength to acquire draft choices was too valuable a proposition to ignore.
For Lynch it will be a fresh start much closer to his Oakland roots. The former first-round pick had a pair of 1,000-yard rushing seasons in his three-plus seasons with the Bills and was named to the AFC Pro Bowl squad following the 2008 campaign.
In his Bills career Lynch rushed for 2,765 yards (4.0 avg.) and 17 touchdowns.
Close teammate Fred Jackson spoke to Lynch by phone shortly after the trade was official and felt his fellow running back was very happy with the turn of events concerning his future playing career.
"He's super excited," Fred Jackson told Buffalobills.com. "The first thing he said to me was he was going to miss everybody around here, but he's excited about a fresh start. So I wish him the best and hopefully he can make some things happen out there."
The rushing load now falls to Jackson and rookie , who both are in line to see more carries with Lynch now on the Seahawks roster.