Marshawn Lynch is reportedly going to hold out and not report to camp with the Seattle Seahawks. Not a good idea.
We may never where this decision came from. Is Lynch getting some bad advice from agents and friends? Or is the often unique Lynch coming up with this on his own? Ultimately, it doesn’t matter because the result is the same. Still a poor decision.
Look, is Lynch a great player? Yes. Is he one of the more valuable players in the NFL right now? Arguably, yes. Should he be fairly compensated for the work that he performs? Sure.
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Unfortunately for Lynch, this is the financial balance of professional sports. If athletes want security, they sign a longer term deal. If they wanted to maximize their current value, they would sign a series of one-year contracts throughout their career.
Most athletes opt for the security. Wouldn’t you?
Sometimes athletes can get away with renegotiating their deal, but this is not necessarily the norm. In addition, the NFL can be a brutally uncaring league when it comes to player value.
If Lynch continues with this strategy, the Seahawks may just move on. Robert Turbin is not Marshawn Lynch, but Christine Michael could be. The ‘Hawks would not be the same without Lynch, but they also wouldn’t be desperate at running back.
Certainly the franchise is likely to be appreciative of the role that Lynch playing in leading the Seahawks to their first Super Bowl win. However, there are no legacy contracts in the NFL. There are no deals that are based on sentimentality. Seattle is not going to give Lynch a two-year, $48.5 million “thank you” contract like the Los Angeles Lakers gave to an aging Kobe Bryant.
Compared to the NBA and MLB, the contracts in the NFL are shorter and include less money. Now, is it unfair that the league where players receive the most punishment is also the league where the athletes get the least amount of guaranteed cash? Sure, but that is the way it works.
Maybe someday the sabermetrics experts will get together with agents and team executives to come up with a compensation system that rewards players on a yearly basis for their actual contributions. Wouldn’t that be nice?
Don’t hold your breath.
The bottom line is that Marshawn Lynch needs to get into camp. He has a contract, and he should honor it. The Seahawks are unlikely to offer him any additional money.