By Aaron Levine
We start by putting our spotlight on what seems like a no-win situation for Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch.
Regardless of whether “Beast Mode” deserves more money – the further his holdout goes, the more he’s hurting himself.
Of course, we understand his argument. He wants to get paid like one of the top two running backs in the league; after all, he’s the focal point of the offense on the defending Super Bowl Champs. And even though his contract runs through next year, no NFL contract is guaranteed. With other obligations, like signing quarterback Russell Wilson to an extension, there’s a good chance Lynch won’t see next year’s money at all.
So Lynch has decided to hold out of training camp. Understandable – statement made.
But the longer he waits, the statement that matters will be the one in his checkbook that grows smaller.
According to John Clayton of ESPN, Lynch is losing $30,000 every day he misses camp. On Tuesday, he will also forfeit 15% of his $6,000,000 signing bonus – or $900,000. Every day he misses after that, the percentage goes up one point, or another $60,000 per day, until he’s lost 25% of that $6,000,000 bonus. And each preseason game he misses, he’ll forfeit a regular-season game check, or $312,500.
Join the team after their second preseason game, and Lynch would be on the hook for close to $2.8 million in fines.
And while the team has the power to wipe out those fines – it only gives them more leverage in negotiations: “Join us now, Marshawn. No, we won’t give you a new contract – but we’ll wipe out the millions you now owe us!”
I get it: Lynch is so unpredictable that he could just walk away – a major blow to a team that relies on him so much. But he’d also be forfeiting the five million dollars in base salary that he’s due this year, a base salary that ranks in the top-5 among running backs. And if the longevity of his charitable foundation is as important as he says it is, five million dollars is certainly better than nothing.
In the end, we have to remember – Lynch has already been paid. He was rewarded with a front-loaded deal just two years ago that’s already paid him 14-million dollars in two seasons.
Giving him more money now would set a terrible precedent – and send a bad message to those players who just signed extensions, who might holdout for more money mid-way through their new deals.
So whether “Beast Mode” deserves more money or not – the Seahawks have no reason to pay it.
Lynch is the one on the hot seat – and the Hawks hold all the cards.