Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch will be holding out of training camp, according to a report by Dan Hanzus of NFL.com. Apparently Lynch told former teammate Michael Robinson that he won’t show up until he gets a better contract:
Robinson was Lynch’s closest friend on the Seahawks roster and his lead blocker for several years. He is about as reliable a source as they come.
The impetus for Lynch is obvious: he has been Seattle’s workhorse running back for three and a half seasons and has more carries than any other back in the National Football League during that time. Lynch knows that running backs begin to decline around his age so he’s looking to get as much money as he possibly can while he’s still capable of carrying a team on his back.
I think the obvious inspiration here is Jamaal Charles. On Wednesday morning the Chiefs running back said that he would hold out for more many before reporting to training camp. Hours later he was given an extension which equated to a $5 million raise.
As it stands today, Lynch is due to be paid $5 million in base salary for the 2014 season, which makes him one of the top-five paid players at his position in the NFL.
NFL teams typically only pay players what they believe they are worth going forward. In my humble opinion Lynch will continue to be an elite RB for at least the next two seasons, barring a major injury. Seattle has a couple of decent options to replace him in the powerful Robert Rubin and the lethally agile Christine Michael.
However, neither of them at this time are nearly as valuable as Marshawn Lynch.
My colleague Chris Cassidy believes that the Seahawks would be better off trading him to the Oakland Raiders for future draft picks. However, I think at the end of the day Lynch may be worth as much as $7.5 million annually until 2016. If he’s asking for more than that then the Seahawks front office might better served to let him walk, otherwise, he needs to get paid.