Paxton Lynch gets another NFL chance as Russell Wilson’s potential backup

Denver quarterback Paxton Lynch warms up before a preseason game against Arizona on Aug. 30.
(Matt York / Associated Press)

Paxton Lynch’s first go-round in the NFL didn’t go so well. The former Memphis quarterback went from first-round draft pick to unemployed after just two seasons.

But the Seattle Seahawks are giving him another chance. They signed Lynch to a one-year futures contract on Thursday, securing his rights for the 2019 season.

That appears to put him in the mix for the backup quarterback spot, since starter Russell Wilson is the only other QB the Seahawks have under contract for next season at this point. Last year’s backup, former UCLA standout Brett Hundley, will be an unrestricted free agent.


So the Seahawks definitely needed to sign at least one quarterback, although some may question the choice of Lynch. In three seasons at Memphis, he threw for 8,863 yards with 59 touchdowns and 23 interceptions. He also rushed for 687 yards and 17 touchdowns.

But that success didn’t translate to the NFL. The Denver Broncos selected Lynch with the 26th overall pick in the 2016 draft, but he failed to win the starting spot during each of the following two training camps.

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After signing free agent quarterback Case Keenum before the 2018 season, the Broncos decided to cut ties with Lynch despite owing him a guaranteed base salary of nearly $2 million. He appeared in five games, including four starts, during his time with the Broncos and completed 61.7% of his passes for 792 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions.

Lynch remained unsigned throughout the season. His agent, Leigh Steinberg, tweeted Thursday that his client had “wanted to wait until finding a great fit.”

Twitter: @chewkiii