RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Marshawn Lynch isn’t expected to be present for the first day of the Seattle Seahawks’ training camp, close friend and former teammate Michael Robinson said Thursday.
Appearing on NFL Network, Robinson said he spoke with Lynch and Seattle’s star running back plans to hold out of the camp that begins Friday.
“I really think he just wants his position in the organization and how they view him, he just wants that recalibrated a little bit,” Robinson said on NFL Network. “He’s been the face of the franchise, he’s been the face of the organization.”
At dispute is Lynch’s contract. Lynch can make up to $5.5 million this season in base pay and roster bonuses. It’s the third year of a four-year contract Lynch signed with Seattle before the 2012 season.
Lynch nearly skipped June’s mandatory minicamp because he wants the final two years of his contract reworked. He ultimately showed to avoid a hefty fine, but did not participate with what coach Pete Carroll said was an ankle issue. Lynch was not present for Seattle’s organized team activities during the offseason.
Seattle’s plan is to make sure Lynch is healthy for the season opener against Green Bay on Sept. 4, which would mean a very light load of carries during training camp and the preseason.
Even though the Seahawks staff expressed during the offseason getting more carries for reserves Robert Turbin and Christine Michael, Carroll reiterated during minicamp that Seattle’s run game begins with Lynch.
“We have rested him a lot in the offseason. He takes a big pounding during the year. It takes him a long time to get his body back to where he doesn’t feel the rigors of the season that’s past,” Carroll said in June. “In this case it’s unique but he is a unique player and he has a unique role on our football team, so we have to do what we have to do to take care of him.”
Robinson said he believes that Lynch will eventually play this season.
“I think Marshawn will be playing football this year. I don’t know how they’re going to get it done, I don’t know how they’re going to make it work but that team is not the championship team that they can be without Beast Mode,” Robinson said.
Lynch can be fined for missing training camp and he’s shown the past being adverse to losing money via fines. Last season, Lynch begrudgingly began speaking to the media during the playoffs in an effort to avoid hefty financial penalties from the league. That included memorable sessions during Super Bowl week where he answered questions for about 20 combined minutes during three days of league-mandated media availability.
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