A running back’s leverage is arguably never better than when he’s on the younger side of 30 and coming off a thousand-yard season that led up to a Super Bowl victory.
And that’s why Marshawn Lynch may be looking to squeeze more money out of the Seattle Seahawks even if he has completed just half of his four-year contract and stands to lose as much as $70,000 by going AWOL this week.
There is widespread speculation Lynch will be a no-show this week at minicamp, a boycott that would subject him to relatively small fines. Thursday was the final day of voluntary workouts that Lynch did not attend over the last three weeks.
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Lynch, 28, is starting the third year of a four-year, $30 million deal that landed him $6 million up front and will pay $5 million this season. The base salary for the 2015 season would be a bit higher, but NFL players and their agents are notoriously suspicious when if comes to the so-called walk season because that’s when it’s more likely for a team to shed a big paycheck to deal with the salary cap.
Former Seahawk Jordan Babineaux, who now works for the NFL Network, said he spoke with Lynch on Thursday and that the running back indeed wants more money, the Seattle Times reported. In a separate radio interview, Babineaux said Lynch is looking for a "small token of appreciation" from the team in the aftermath of his 301 regular-season carries for 1,257 yards and a dozen touchdowns.
"This year is more (important) than the last year of the deal. It’s this year," Babineaux told the newspaper, adding that Lynch might go so far as to hang up his cleats.
"I don’t want to rule out the fact that there could still be a possibility, because of Marshawn’s personality, that retirement could just be something that he’s OK settling for," Babineaux said.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport also reported last week that Lynch told two teammates last season that he would consider retiring.
The $7.5 million average of the exisiting deal places Lynch behind only Adrian Peterson, LeSean McCoy, Arian Foster and Matt Forte among NFL running backs, according to OvertheCap.com.