BY Steve Rudman 04:50PM 07/24/2014

Marshawn Lynch to hold out of Seahawks camp

Marshawn Lynch confirmed to former teammate Michael Robinson that he will be a no=show when the Seahawks begin their training camp Friday in Renton.

It's been five games sincre Lynch had a 100-yard game.

The Seahawks’ offense runs through Marshawn Lynch and now he wants more money for that. / Drew McKenzie, Sportspress Northwest

Although the Seahawks have acknowledged nothing, RB Marshawn Lynch will apparently pull a training camp no-show. Creating a Thursday afternoon Twitter frenzy, former Seattle fullback Michael Robinson broke the news on the NFL Network. Lynch reportedly also confirmed his decision to at least one Seattle media member.

“Marshawn Lynch just called me, we just talked,” Robinson told the network. “He said he will be holding out from training camp this year with the Seahawks.”

Lynch, who famously skipped the ceremony when the Seahawks were honored at the White House earlier this year, faces a $30,000 fine for every day he sits out.

The Seahawks, who defeated the Denver Broncos 43-8 in Super Bowl XLVIII, are scheduled to open training camp Friday at the Virginia Mason Athletic Center in Renton.

Lynch threatened to skip a mandatory mini camp in early June in order to force the Seahawks into granting him a contract extension. Lynch is entering the third year of a four-year deal worth $30 million that he signed in 2012, including $6 million in signing bonuses. His base salary for 2014 is $5 million and counts $7 million against the salary cap.

Lynch ultimately showed for the three-day mini-camp, although he did not participate in drills, supposedly hobbled by an ankle injury. By appearing, he avoided approximately $70,000 in fines.

Lynch, who is slated to earn $5.5 million in 2014, when his salary will count $9 million against the cap, wanted the Seahawks to renegotiate the deal and provide him with more up-front money.

Since the Seahawks won the Super Bowl, they have handed out two major contracts, a four-year package to cornerback Richard Sherman worth $56 million, and a four-year, $40 million deal to S Earl Thomas. Both players became the highest-paid at their positions in the NFL. Both were scheduled for significant raises. Lynch is not.

The Seahawks also lost a number of high-profile players in free agency, including WR Golden Tate and DE Red Bryant, in order to free money to sign Sherman and Thomas and prepare for the inevitability of having to pay Russell Wilson after the expiration of his rookie contract next year.

In mid-contract and not in position to cash, Lynch’s only leverage, such as it is, is to hold out. He reportedly fears that he will never see the $5.5 million due him in 2015. If Lynch,  28, honors his current deal, he will be 30 the next time he is free to negotiate an extension. He is more likely to become a salary cap casualty before that, meaning that the $5.5 million due him in 2015 might as well not exist.

Lynch has averaged 300 carries and 1,363 yards per season during his time with the Seahawks, with a high of 315/1,590 in 2012. Lynch has 1,753 carries through age 27, ranking 20th on a list of 26 players with at least 1,700 through that age.

Of the 23 whose careers are in the books, 15 never had a 1,300-yard season after turning 30 – seven never had a 1,000-yard year after 30 — and only three had two or more.

The man question now is whether the Seahawks are prepared to play hardball with one of their most popular and productive players.


  • Big

    For gosh sakes, guarantee the man 2 years with a free agency at the end of 2015. Money, it’s only a crying shame when you play cheap.

    • Sub 4.0

      Free agency for a 30 year-old running back will get him nothing in the NFL. He knows this and that’s why he is trying to get more money this year. The Seahawks front office doesn’t want to set a precedent for renegotiating a contract under threat of a holdout, nor should they.

      • 1coolguy

        Right on!

      • Big

        Understood. I would prefer to see more money in his pocket now and he can walk after this season or next. Professional sports it’s all about the money.

  • John Martin

    We love the way you play Marshawn, but you have a good contract and you’re with a team that believed in you when your stock was down. This year your load should be a bit less, but we will love it when you carry the ball. Forget about the maintenance on the Lamborgini and just play.

    • Jamo57

      Red Bryant had a good contract too, which the Hawks terminated before it’s full term. The team anticipated his stock will go down and didn’t want to keep his cap number.

    • Topcatone

      I agree. What if he has a poor 2014-15? Should the Hawks demand to renegotiate the 4th year for less pay? Of course, that never happens, It is a two way street. You sign a contract. Unless there is fraud, then honor it. I think $30 Million is enough to play football for 4 years!!!

  • Joe Fan

    The ‘hawks need to pony up some more money for someone who clearly is a special player on this team. He has been instrumental in their success and they have the money and cap room. Keep Marshawn happy if at all possible.

    • Topcatone

      $30 MILLION and he is unhappy? I’m sick of the ego in these sport’s players.

  • RadioGuy

    I’ve come to like Marshawn: He’s his own man, the Seahawks don’t make the Super Bowl (let alone win it) without him and he’s not without reason for wanting more money…he HAS done the job here and his window will close soon and rapidly as it is. On the other hand, I don’t think it’s a good idea to renegotiate a four-year contract with two years left. When a team is willing to offer a multiyear contract the player is willing to sign, there should be a reasonable expectation on both sides that the contract will be honored under the terms agreed to.

    Having said that, if I were the Seahawks I’d offer two things: One, pay $1 million called for in 2015 this year instead (and guarantee it); Two, rework his contract to reflect the shift in pay ($6.5 million in 2014, $6 million in 2015) and load it with reasonable incentives both years. Otherwise, it may be time to start turning the page and paying extra attention to Michael and Turbin in camp, since they’ll be splitting the touches Lynch would’ve had. “Next Man Up” is not a hollow phrase in the NFL.

  • poulsbogary

    Give him a statue and then tell him to get his butt back to work.

  • PokeyPuffy

    so weird to see even the best of NFL players struggling to get what a benchwarmer gets in the NBA…..and none of its guaranteed.

  • 1coolguy

    He’d be great trade bait – send him off to the Jags or the Dolphins, etc and let him watch the teams success from a distance. He’s a good back but I’m tired of the act.
    Let’s first remember the Hawks saved HIS BUTT from Buffalo. How short his memory is.

  • Matt712

    Marshawn’s contract is decent, but he has proven to exceed its value. Not even Pete and John could have predicted the level of play the Seahawks have gotten from him. I agree with RadioGuy – they don’t necessarily have to break the bank; just front-load what’s left on his contract and throw in some more incentives. At least make the gesture.

    As much as I like Turbo, I’m not seeing the yards after contact. As exciting as C. Michael seems to be, he still needs more coaching. This is a team that prides itself over every other in the NFL as a ‘ground-n-pound’ juggernaut. Unless they’ve suddenly decided to profoundly change their philosophy, the Hawks need to find a way to pay the best ground-n-pound running-back in the game.

  • jafabian

    Don’t agree with Beastmode’s decision since he’s under contract. Plus there’s two very young, very hungry RB’s on the bench. I’m sure he’s aware of that and will probably return soon. What he needs to do is go out and just have an awesome, MVP type season. From the Seahawks POV after signing Shaun Alexander to a big contract and seeing how he flamed out after that its understandable that they’d play if cautious. IIRC, Shaun’s contact was front loaded with a lot of contigencies so the club didn’t pay out as much as some might think.

  • Topcatone

    He is making a big big mistake. This is one of the reasons it is so hard to repeat as champions. No sympathy for a guy who SIGNED a four year contract for THIRTY MILLION (I think he is #4 paid running back in league?) . If there is a salary cap issue, he STILL GETS the money, he has a contract. If the Hawks negotiated, a bunch of other players will try the same thing. If I were the Hawks I would say no, the contract stands, but we will add a new supplementary contract that adds nice bonus pay for performance, playoff rounds, return to Super Bowl etc….he is going to lose a lot of fans if he hurts the team. THIRTY MILLION is all one should need for life I think.