“Not everybody is the same. In our program, we understand that to a point where we celebrate the individuality and uniqueness.”
– Pete Carroll, Jan. 29, 2014
Marshawn Lynch’s obstinance has been perhaps his greatest asset during his four seasons in Seattle.
That refusal to give in, an adamant unwillingness to go down that was evident from his first game after the Seahawks traded for him to the 67-yard run in which he ran through the entire Saints defense – escaping some of them twice – to score a touchdown that actually moved the earth in Seattle.
That stubbornness is what turned Super Bowl media day into a spectacle, and it now threatens his season with the Seahawks.
Now it’s not a defense that Lynch is defying, but his employer. This time it’s not some silly league rule about media availability that he’s digging in his heels against, but the realities of a modern NFL contract.
And ultimately, the length of Lynch’s holdout won’t come down to the validity of his argument or the strength of his bargaining position nearly so much as just how stubborn he will be in getting what he wants.
That’s why I don’t see Lynch arriving any time before September, and it remains very possible that he won’t be present even then.
Lynch has not frequently been told “no” in his career, and when he has, he has tended to dig in his heels or become painfully reluctant to cooperate. Remember the media-day fiasco at the Super Bowl last year? Well, that’s kind of how he had his ticket punched out of Buffalo back in 2010, too.
That’s why the refrain coming from the team is the equivalent of a postcard greeting: “Weather is beautiful, wish you were here.”
His choice. It’s something both coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider have mentioned, shifting the burden on to Lynch as well as mentioning the fact that his contract was negotiated just two years ago.
The league’s collective-bargaining agreement gives the team every advantage in the way of financial penalties. By the time Lynch’s holdout enters its sixth day, he will be subject to more than $1 million in fines.
The team is not expected to yield in any significant way by adding more money into the final two years of Lynch’s deal. The wiggle room will come from the scheduling of the money he’s set to receive.
Will that be good enough for Lynch?
Only he knows the answer to that question, and his history – both in terms of his playing style and his personality – shows that he’s a person who doesn’t give in very often.
Related: When will Lynch’s holdout end? 710 ESPN Seattle hosts weigh in.