No matter what Marshawn Lynch does, in the end he’ll end up paying a fine to the NFL. The Seattle Seahawks can’t seem to control his actions off the field, but they’re at least hoping that all the noise and drama around him won’t affect his ability to run all over the New England Patriots defense.
So what is it now with Lynch? He showed up for media day and stuck a finger in the eye of the league by simply saying that he’s here so he won’t get fined, followed by another obligatory appearance in which he said that everyone knows why he’s there, and nothing else. But while fulfilling one part of the deal, showing up with his Beast Mode hat and promoting his own brand which isn’t NFL approved might land him in troubled water anyway.
The argument over Lynch will continue up until the game: Is he simply a guy who hates the media, doesn’t trust it and wants to play football and nothing else? Or is he someone that doesn’t respect the business he’s in which allows him to make so much money? Ignoring the league, the fans and the reporters in such a way that isn’t about being shy and coy, but mostly disrespectful and slightly arrogant, trying to show he’s smarter than the system.
Lynch is in the clear until the Super Bowl, but after that the league will review whether his hat on media day which has the Beast Mode logo on it is permissible. The NFL, being the money grabbing deity it is, is quite strict about players advertising companies the NFL hasn’t signed off on. He did both on media day (Tuesday) and the hotel appearance (Wednesday) only with different hates, which fit his different responses on each day.
If we’re looking for precedents, Brian Urlacher was fined $100,000 in 2007 before the Chicago Bears playing in the Super Bowl against the Indianapolis Colts for wearing a Vitaminwater hat. With the league so hungry to fine Lynch for something, anything, it wouldn’t be surprising to see them take away more money from him after the Super Bowl. While this certainly feels like it’s getting a bit ridiculous from the league, Lynch is definitely taunting them and asking for trouble.
While the Seahawks would prefer if Lynch would be painting such a huge target sign on his back for the league to focus on, it really won’t make much of a difference if he simply leaves it all off the field when he suits up for his second consecutive Super Bowl game. In the past, he’s had no problem making that separation. He didn’t make much of a difference a year ago in a weird, one sided Super Bowl, but he was huge in the 28-22 win over the Green Bay Packers, rushing for 157 yards and a touchdown in the NFC Championship game.
Lynch leaves it all on the field, and doesn’t seem to be affected by what’s happening around him. Despite his contract disputes and everything else we’ve mentioned over the last couple of days, he’s usually the most reliable player for the Seahawks to turn to on offense. After that? If he helps them win the Super Bowl, they really wouldn’t be bothered too much with all of his media appearances and attempts to promote his brand and pissing off the league while doing it.