Marshawn Lynch will not be reporting to Seattle Seahawks training camp when it opens on Friday because he wants his contract reworked.
His confidant and former Seahawks backfield mate Michael Robinson reported Thursday on the NFL Network that Lynch would be holding out of camp.
It’s not much of a surprise.
There were rumblings the 28-year-old workhorse running back would hold out of mandatory minicamp in mid-June. Instead, he showed up, avoiding hefty fines by doing so. He did not participate because of what coach Pete Carroll called a “sore ankle.”
If Lynch doesn't attend camp, he will incur fines of $30,000 per day, plus a partial forfeiture of his $6 million signing bonus if he holds out five days or more.
Lynch is entering the third year of a four-year, $30 million deal, during which he has been the focus of the Seahawks’ run-first offense.
Lynch has a base salary of $5 million in 2014 and is a $7 million salary cap hit. His base salary rises to $5.5 million next season when he becomes a $9 million cap hit. None of that money is guaranteed.
Which leaves Lynch in protective mode. He knows that aging running backs — even ones that have averaged 300 carries and 1,350 yards the past three seasons as Lynch has — can be quickly cast aside by their teams.
The Seahawks have second-year back Christine Michael and Robert Turbin also under contract. Michael is viewed as the back of the future.
In mid-June, Robinson indicated Lynch was expecting to be paid more.
“The guy has been the face of this franchise since the day he stepped in that door, it’s been Beast Mode,” Robinson said at the time. “Just from my knowledge of it, he has been the face of the franchise. Pete, (general manager) John (Schneider), they’ve made no qualms about saying that. And he’s (Lynch) just like ‘I just want to be paid like it.’ I think the devaluation of the (running) back doesn’t help his case, the fact that he has two years left on his deal doesn’t help his case, which I’ve expressed to him.
“You take Marshawn Lynch off the team last year, do we win the Super Bowl? I think all of us know the answer to that. He just wants to be paid like it. He knows he has a short window left. Nobody says anything when teams cut a guy at this juncture, though. I’m all in for players getting their dollars, man, because you have a short life.”
Robinson was then asked if age is a factor for Lynch.
“I don’t think it’s a factor for him. I think it’s a factor for them (the Seahawks) because 30 is this “magic” number. He leads the league in carries the last three years, but he probably has the fewest carries all through training camp and preseason. He gets his rest. So I don’t know. We’ll see.”
We’ll see, indeed. Lynch has challenged the Seahawks to pay him. They have their first issue as defending champions on their hands.