During the Seattle Seahawks’ Super Bowl parade, running back Marshawn Lynch acted out a cliché attached to him: He marches to the beat of his own drum.
That afternoon, Lynch rode through the streets of downtown Seattle on the bow of a duck boat, hammering away at a single drum handed to him. So, it’s of little surprise he continues to do things in his own manner this offseason.
Lynch decided not to join the Seahawks when they were feted at the White House. He also did not join them for any of the 10 organized team training activities that took place the past two weeks and concluded Thursday.
Also, multiple reports surfaced Wednesday saying Lynch was not happy with his contract and is not expected to attend the Seahawks’ mandatory minicamp next week. No one in those reports by ESPN and Yahoo spoke on the record.
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Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was not scheduled to speak to the media after Thursday’s final OTA. He kept to that schedule, leaving the Seahawks without comment
on Lynch’s situation beyond saying they had not been told he would be missing next week.
Mid-June is a good time for rumor intrigue to swell. Having the reports centered on the eccentric and highly productive Lynch is like driving a gas truck into a bonfire.
The key fact, at this point, is Lynch has not done anything wrong. Like the White House trip, participating in OTAs — which he also skipped last year — is voluntary, though Lynch was the only healthy Seahawk to miss both.
Lynch has not suffered financial repercussions for his offseason absences thus far, but that changes if he misses mandatory minicamp, which runs from June 17-19.
According to the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement, an unexcused failure to report to or an unexcused departure from mandatory offseason minicamp results in a maximum fine of $10,000 for the first missed day. That amount increases by $10,000 per day for each day of the player’s absence or departure. A player who misses all three days of minicamp may be fined up to $60,000.
Also, Lynch already is likely to have been fined $50,000 by the NFL for his plea deal that reduced a 2012 charge of driving under the influence to reckless driving.
When contacted by The Olympian, the NFL indicated Lynch would not be suspended for the guilty plea but pointed out the following:
A first-offense DUI-related violation of law results in a fine of two regular-season game checks up to a maximum of $50,000, per the league’s agreement with the NFL Players Association under the collective bargaining agreement. Those fines are not announced.
Lynch has two years remaining on his contract, each a significant salary cap hit. He’s a $7 million cap hit this season and can be a $9 million hit next season. Lynch can become an unrestricted free agent in 2016.
There is speculation he might be cut before 2016 because of his significant cost to a team that just extended cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas, plus will be looking to extend quarterback Russell Wilson. The specter of Lynch’s release could be a factor in his reported preference for a different contract — in particular, one that pays more money upfront.
Lynch is the fifth-highest-paid running back in the league and is entering the third year of a four-year, $30 million contract he signed in 2012.
Backup running back Robert Turbin and second-year back Christine Michael are expected to push Lynch for carries this season.
However, Lynch remains the clear top option for the team as one of the best backs in the league.
Lynch led the Seahawks with 1,257 yards on 301 carries in 2013, was tied for first in the NFL with 12 rushing touchdowns and helped Seattle win its first Super Bowl.
SEAHAWKS SIGN FORMER ALL-PRO DT WILLIAMS
The Seahawks signed free-agent defensive tackle Kevin Williams to a one-year deal Thursday.
Williams’ addition is a plus for depth and not a surprise because the former Minnesota Viking had visited the Seahawks.
Seattle had leftover cap space and likes to use a rotation on the defensive line. Williams also visited the New England Patriots and New York Giants.
Williams, 33, spent 11 productive seasons with the Vikings. He has 60 career sacks, five interceptions and 65 passes defensed.
Williams is a six-time Pro-Bowl player and five-time All-Pro.