The Seattle Seahawks will gather Tuesday for mandatory minicamp still nagged by the Marshawn Lynch storyline.
Will the brutish running back show up? Or will he hold out because he wants more money?
It’s not surprising a current and former teammate have backed Lynch’s reported pursuit of more money. He’s moving into the third year of a four-year, $30 million deal that had $17 million guaranteed.
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Former Seahawks safety Jordan Babineaux, now an NFL Network analyst, said the team should pay Lynch.
Current Seahawks defensive lineman Michael Bennett said the same during a Monday morning appearance on NFL Network.
Meanwhile, there were some movers and shakers who did work during the Seahawks’
10 voluntary organized team activities, all of which Lynch skipped.
Let’s start with rookie wide receiver Kevin Norwood.
The Seahawks selected Norwood out of Alabama in the fourth round of this year’s draft. Thanks to the Crimson Tide’s run-first offense, his numbers were moderate. That forced Norwood to be an efficient receiver at crucial times, a role in which he excelled.
The Seahawks touted Norwood’s ability to catch balls in traffic or the end zone. Both occurred often during the OTAs. Norwood pulled in a Hail Mary with cornerback Richard Sherman on his back. He made a sliding catch on a throw low and behind him from Terrelle Pryor. He caught passes up the seam and several for touchdowns.
Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell paid Norwood a basic but well-received compliment.
“Their job is to catch the ball, and he’s really catching the ball well,” Bevell said.
Also of note were cornerback Tharold Simon and linebacker Korey Toomer.
Simon had two interceptions during the final OTA, but he’s likely still another year away from cracking the lineup because of Seattle’s depth at defensive back.
With injuries to Malcolm Smith (ankle) and Bruce Irvin (hip), Toomer could be in line to join the starting corps as a strongside linebacker. Toomer missed two seasons because of shoulder and knee injuries. The Seahawks have liked his length and speed, but he just hasn’t been around enough for them to get a good look.
Then, there’s guard James Carpenter.
Last year was a struggle for Carpenter before the Seahawks hit him with a subtle sledgehammer of a message during the offseason. Seattle decided not to pick up the fifth-year option on Carpenter’s contract.
Carpenter did little work this past offseason because of knee surgeries and was out of shape throughout the season.
This summer, his weight loss is visible. Whereas Carpenter needed to take a knee between drills during practice last season, he’s briskly moving from drill to drill in these workouts. Knowing he is in the final year of his contract, Carpenter appears to have found a new dedication. Desperation remains a powerful motivator.
For three days this week, Norwood, Simon, Toomer, Carpenter and others will continue their grind. However, Lynch headlines will continue to dominate the discussion with the season still almost three months away.