Multiple reports late Wednesday suggested the Seahawks’ prime offensive weapon may be unhappy with his contract and intent on skipping mandatory minicamp next week.
There is no one on the record in any of the reports.
Thursday’s 10th and final OTA is open to the media. Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll — whom was asked at the start of OTAs if Lynch would be around then said he didn’t know before making a joke — was available to the media Monday. He will likely talk again Thursday.
Lynch, 28, did not go to the White House with the team in the offseason and has not been at any voluntary OTAs. There is no fine for missing OTAs. However, there can be significant fines for missing mandatory minicamp. From the NFL’s CBA:
Unexcused failure to report to or unexcused departure from mandatory offseason minicamp—maximum fine of $10,000 for the first missed day, which amount shall increase by $10,000 per day for each day of the player’s absence or departure (e.g., a player who misses all three days of minicamp may be fined up to $60,000).
In addition, Lynch is already likely to have been fined $50,000 by the NFL for his plea deal which reduced a summer of 2012 DUI down to wet reckless driving. When contacted by the News Tribune, the NFL indicated Lynch would not be suspended, but pointed out the following:
A first-offense DUI-related violation of law results in a fine of 2 regular-season game checks up to a maximum of $50,000, per our agreement with the NFL Players Association under the CBA. Those fines are not announced.
Lynch has two years remaining on his contract, each a significant cap hit. He’s a $7 million cap hit this season and can be a $9 million cap hit next season. Lynch can become an unrestricted free agent in 2016.
But, there is speculation he may be cut prior to 2016 because of his significant cost to a team that just extended Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas, plus will be looking to extend quarterback Russell Wilson.
Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell mentioned at a “Town Hall” event last week that the Seahawks could use running back by committee this season, before backtracking from that statement Monday.
Young running back Christine Michael, in particular, and backup running back Robert Turbin are expected to push Lynch for carries this season. Though, Lynch remains the clear top option for the team as one of the best running backs in the league.
Lynch led the Seahawks with 1,257 yards on 301 carries in 2013, helping Seattle win its first Super Bowl.