Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch either doesn’t know whether he wants to play football any longer — or he’s pulling off one of the all-time great misdirections.
The Seahawks still don’t know whether Lynch’s grinning-in-disbelief exit from the playing field at the Super Bowl will be his final appearance in an NFL uniform. Folks close to Lynch claim they don’t know, either.
Former Seahawks fullback (and current NFL Media analyst) Michael Robinson reiterated on Thursday in an appearance on 710 ESPN in Seattle that he doesn’t know whether Lynch will play in 2015 — and Robinson had just spoken to Lynch before doing the interview.
“I don’t know,” Robinson said, via Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times. “I don’t think Marshawn knows yet. . . . I don’t know what a timeline is, guys. I would guess that Marshawn doesn’t even really know what a timeline is. Probably going to be a feel thing and we’ll just see like everybody else.”
The problem for the Seahawks is that, if Lynch isn’t going to play, they need to know. Soon. With other options potentially available via trade or free agency, they could end up holding the bag if Lynch ends up walking away. Or the Seahawks could end up acquiring a veteran they may not need — or burning a draft pick on a tailback when they could have focused on filling a different position.
“Has he had enough football? You can’t ask him that right after the season because your body is telling you ‘yes’,” Robinson said. “Right now you just have to let him wait it out, see how the off-season goes, let him get his body right again, and then you will see if he wants to come back or not.”
So how can the Seahawks get a “yes” out of Marshawn before March 10, the start of the new league year? The easy solution would be to throw a little more money onto the pile, enough to get him to commit.
Or maybe the Seahawks could call his bluff. If Lynch retires, he’ll owe the Seahawks $1.5 million in prorated bonus money. He knows it, the team knows it, and no one involved in this dance needs to mention it.
The best move could be to publicly acknowledge that Lynch doesn’t know whether he’s going to play, but to privately assume he won’t be interested in writing a check for $1.5 million, especially with the Seahawks apparently willing to pay him a lot more than $7 million to play in 2015.