NFL running backs need to get their money when they can get it, which isn’t often and doesn’t last very long.
For Marshawn Lynch, that time is now, even if the Seattle Seahawks don’t seem very willing to accommodate him.
The Seahawks’ running back, who likes to let his play do the talking, will let his absence from training camp speak volumes. Lynch will hold out of camp as he attempts to have his current contract sweetened, sources told FOX Sports.
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Lynch, 28, is due $5 million in base salary this season and another $500,000 in the form of a per-game roster bonus. He recently watched as the Kansas City Chiefs gave Jamaal Charles an added $5.1 million total over the next two seasons, with Charles now scheduled to make $8.3 million this season.
A source informed of Lynch’s reasoning for holding out said he would like to have his compensation brought in line with what Charles is now owed. Charles, who is eight months younger than Lynch, had 1,980 total yards and 19 touchdowns last season; Lynch had 1,573 total yards and 14 touchdowns. The source said Lynch believes his tone-setting, physical style of play and the fact the Seahawks are a run-oriented offense (their 420 passing attempts were the second-fewest in the league last year, while their 509 rushes were second-most) should translate into some added dollars this year.
The Super Bowl champs gave extensions to cornerback Richard Sherman, safety Earl Thomas and wide receiver Doug Baldwin but resisted Lynch’s attempts to get a new contract in the spring. He eventually showed up for minicamp after hinting he might not participate. But this time around, he seems set to make a statement until he gets his wish. This could be a long standoff between sides that appear unwilling to budge.
Appearing on NFL Network, former teammate Michael Robinson said he spoke with Lynch and confirmed his plans.
”I really think he just wants his position in the organization and how they view him, he just wants that recalibrated a little bit,” Robinson said on NFL Network. ”He’s been the face of the franchise, he’s been the face of the organization.”
Seattle’s plan is to make sure Lynch is healthy for the season opener against Green Bay on Sept. 4, which would mean a very light load of carries during training camp and the preseason.
Even though the Seahawks staff expressed during the offseason getting more carries for reserves Robert Turbin and Christine Michael, coach Pete Carroll reiterated during minicamp that Seattle’s run game begins with Lynch.
”We have rested him a lot in the offseason. He takes a big pounding during the year. It takes him a long time to get his body back to where he doesn’t feel the rigors of the season that’s past,” Carroll said in June. ”In this case it’s unique but he is a unique player and he has a unique role on our football team, so we have to do what we have to do to take care of him.”
Robinson said he believes that Lynch eventually will play this season.
”I think Marshawn will be playing football this year. I don’t know how they’re going to get it done, I don’t know how they’re going to make it work, but that team is not the championship team that they can be without Beast Mode,” Robinson said.
Lynch can be fined for missing training camp and he’s shown in the past being adverse to losing money via fines. Last season Lynch begrudgingly began speaking to the media during the playoffs in an effort to avoid hefty financial penalties from the league. That included memorable sessions during Super Bowl week where he answered questions for about 20 combined minutes during three days of league-mandated media availability.