Michael Robinson knows Marshawn Lynch better than most, but he’s in the same position as everyone else when it comes to the question of whether or not his close friend and former Seahawks teammate will be back in 2015.
“I don’t know,” Robinson said. “I don’t think Marshawn knows yet.”
Seahawks general manager John Schneider told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Salk” on Tuesday that the team is unsure at this point whether or not Lynch wants to play next season. Robinson appeared on “Danny, Dave and Moore” Thursday – minutes after speaking with Lynch over the phone, he said – and reiterated that Lynch is mulling retirement.
Eventually pressed for a prediction, Robinson said his bet would be that Lynch plays in Seattle next season, though the comments he made throughout the interview made it clear that he doesn’t believe that’s a certainty by any means.
Asked about the reasons Lynch is considering retirement at age 28 – he’ll be 29 in April – Robinson cited first the pounding that his body has taken over eight seasons in the NFL, noting how that’s more than twice as long as most careers last. Robinson said that a desire to pursue interests outside of football may be another factor.
“It’s a grind. I don’t think people really understand that families are affected by playing football, your schedule, your whole life,” Robinson said. “People say, ‘Yeah, you make a lot of money,’ but there are some sacrifices there. I think Marshawn is just getting into a point in his life where maybe he wants to enjoy other things in life, maybe other things are becoming important to him.”
Schneider said Tuesday that if Lynch is back next season, it will be with a new contract. Robinson said he doesn’t think money is much of a factor in Lynch’s decision on whether or not to retire. He did say, though, that he thinks Lynch wants to be paid “like the heartbeat of a team” – which is the same term Schneider used to describe him – and that Lynch is in the advantageous position of not needing the Seahawks as much as they need him.
“Right now, he knows that he has the leverage,” Robinson said, “he knows he’s the best back in the league.”
Robinson chuckled when asked what he thinks the timeline will be on Lynch’s decision, saying, “C’mon, man. It’s Marshawn. I don’t think he knew whether he was going to play last year until almost training camp. I mean, really, it’s Marshawn.”
Robinson echoed what Schneider said Tuesday about Lynch needing to get further removed from the season before he’s able to make a decision about next year.
“It’s very difficult to ask a running back, a guy who’s had 788 touches over the last two years, has he had enough football? You can’t ask him that right after the season because your body is telling you yes,” Robinson said. “I think right now you’ve just kind of got to let him wait it out, let him see how the offseason goes, let him get his body feeling right again and then you will see whether he wants to come back or not.”