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Hawk Talk: Lynch’s status, Baldwin’s future

By staff

Marshawn Lynch’s pending DUI case and Doug Baldwin’s future in Seattle beyond 2013 were among the topics discussed when Danny O’Neil hosted another edition of “Hawk Talk” on Thursday.

You can find the transcript of the chat here. Below are some highlights.

A guest posing as Brock Huard asked whether Lynch will be available for the start of the season considering he has a DUI case pending in Alameda County, Calif.

Danny O’Neil: This is a great question, and we don’t know. There’s a hearing to dismiss the charges on May 22 with a trial tentatively scheduled going in June. If he’s convicted of DUI, there’s a very real possibility he could face a suspension. However, that would really depend on the commissioner’s discretion. A DUI was covered under the substance-abuse policy. Lynch was previously suspended under the personal-conduct policy. A first-time DUI offense generally doesn’t warrant a suspension. However, the fact Lynch was previously suspended does create a conundrum.

Doug Baldwin will be a restricted free agent after the 2013 season, while fellow Seahawks receiver Golden Tate will be an unrestricted free agent. (AP)

Maximus Desimus Meridius envisions a scenario in which Golden Tate and Doug Baldwin play well enough in 2013 to earn new contracts from the Seahawks, making it easier for Seattle to move on from Sidney Rice and his expensive contract. Tate (unrestricted) and Baldwin (restricted) will be free agents after the season.

Danny O’Neil. Very possible. I would say that we’ll have to wait and see if Baldwin is in position for a long-term deal after next year. Team could tender him – and given the lack of offer sheets to restricted free agents – Baldwin could very well wind up playing 2014 on a one-year tender.

dharmabruce asked about Jermaine Kearse and whether he will end up on the 53-man roster or the practice squad.

Danny O’Neil. Great question, and he’s one of the players I’m going to be most interested to watch in training camp. He had a real rapport with Russell Wilson in training camp last year, and he’s got great size. The question – as always – is his catching ability.

RWIII isn’t sold on the idea of using Bruce Irvin as an outside linebacker, while Kobe Berg doubts Irvin would be dropping into coverage much in that role.

Danny O’Neil. It’s going to be interesting, that’s for sure. I can see how you’d be concerned that you’re taking a guy and seeing if he can do something that is drastically different from the position you picked him for. I can also see how – if it works – this makes your pass rush so much more dynamic because you essentially have two blazing-fast edge rushers on the field. …There will be times that he does have to drop. Also, if Cliff Avril is at Leo, I think there will be times he’s called to drop to change things up and keep offenses guessing.

PartyHarty asked what happened to Darren Fells.

Danny O’Neil: He was released, and this is not a shock. The guy hadn’t played football in 10 years, and while the combination of his size and athleticism made him intriguing, his (lack of) playing history made him a long shot. A lot was made of the fact he signed a three-year contract, and that was very misguided. The team controls a player’s rights until after he completes three seasons.