Rumors are a lot like misery; almost everyone likes to spread them around. Yesterday a disturbing one began circulating on the internet around Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch. Earlier in the week I pondered if Lynch is getting phased out of Seattle’s offense. If that’s the case, it could help explain the whispers being tossed around.
According to Rand Getlin of Yahoo Sports, the Seahawks do not anticipate Lynch to show up for mini-camp:
— Rand Getlin (@Rand_Getlin) June 12, 2014
Now this should be taken with a grain of salt especially considering the quality of Yahoo Sports reporting, but the story has spread surprisingly quick. Getlin’s “source” is someone “familiar with the team’s thinking” so take that for whatever it’s worth. Indications are it may be a rival team executive.
The thinking goes that Lynch is not happy with his current contract and he wants more which is why he’s been absent for so many team functions this offseason. He was a no-show for the Seahawks visit to the White House and OTAs. Lynch is due to be paid $5 million in base salary in 2014 and $5.5 million in 2015, however the cap hit for 2015 will be higher, leading many to speculate that the team will cut him or ask him to restructure in order to help pay for Russell Wilson’s inevitable monster extension.
This comes as an unpleasant surprise for Seattle’s front office, which aside from losing too many defensive linemen has done a great job keeping the core of last year’s Super bowl squad together. Earl Thomas, Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin have all been extended and Michael Bennett’s been signed to a long-term deal. Right now the new A1 priority for general manager John Schneider and head coach Pete Carroll has to be keeping Lynch happy, but that won’t be easy.
Here is a list of the top earners in the NFL at running back for 2014 (in base salary):
As you can see Lynch is already earning top-five money for his position. If you ask me Adrian Peterson is definitely overpaid relative to the other elite backs, but Minnesota needed to stretch in order to make him stay in a town that won’t be competing for a championship anytime soon. There’s no way Lynch will earn anything close to AD money and his agent has to know that.
You can easily make the case that Lynch deserves more given the amount of work that he’s put in and how much the Seahawks depend on him to carry the offense, but how much more can he really expect? A million? Two million at most?
Lynch is 29 years old and over the last three year’s he’s averaged around 300 carries, 1300 yards and 11 touchdowns per season. That’s an enormous workload even for a guy that relishes in physical contact. Most running backs begin to decline at his age but I think Lynch is a unique talent and probably has several good years of football left in him.
However, the Seahawks are already paying Lynch solid half-back money and they need to spare every cent to get Wilson locked up. If Lynch is determined to hold out for a better deal he’s going about it the wrong way.
The Seahawks team culture is all about the needs of the many outweighing the needs of the few. Sitting out team functions only serves to make Lynch look selfish and will not help him at the negotiating table.
Of course this might all be completely bogus but we should remember that Lynch at one point was seriously considering retirement after the 2013 season. We will stay on top of this and bring you more updates as they come. For now, let’s poll the 12th man. Do you think it’s fair that Beast Mode wants more?
UPDATE (2:23 PT)
Moments ago Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported that the Seahawks have heard no indication from Lynch that he plans to miss mini-camp:
“Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Lynch has said nothing to indicate he won’t be there. Then again, Lynch never says much. In this specific case, we’ve consistently heard that no one knows (perhaps not even Lynch himself) whether he’ll attend. “He always does whatever he wants,” the source said…”
So, this doesn’t mean he will show up, but the Yahoo Sports report may have been premature predicting that he wouldn’t.