With training camps just about a month away, that means that fantasy football drafts are right around the corner.
When draft day comes, one of the biggest question marks that needs to be figured out is the situation involving Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch. His contract squabble is something that you need to play close attention to, especially if you own Lynch in a keeper league or two like I do.
NFL players always make idle threats when it comes to contract negotiations, but Lynch, who will reportedly miss next week’s mandatory minicamp, told teammates during the 2013 season that he would consider retiring if the Hawks won Super Bowl XLVIII, according to a report.
That one is something that took me back.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Thursday that Lynch, 28, told two teammates during last season that he would seriously contemplate retiring after seven years in the NFL, including four Pro Bowl and one first-team All-Pro seasons. An anonymous source close to Lynch told Rapoport that retirement wouldn’t be a huge surprise.
“He could,” the source told Rapoport. “I could see him walking away.”
However while hearing the word retirement for one of the best fantasy backs out there is a bit shocking, ultimately I believe it is simply a negotiating tool.
Lynch doesn’t have a whole lot of leverage in negotiating with the Seahawks as he is in search of a re-negotiated contract so the retirement talk is likely just a ploy.
However you have to think that his fantasy value could take a bit of a hit in the process.
Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll has already been on record saying that Christine Michael would split some carries with Lynch this season. So the more time Lynch misses, Michael’s value could continue to rise.
Hopefully you handcuffed Lynch with Michael last season.
However I wouldn’t put too much stock into it unless Lynch’s contract squabble spills into training camp. Then I would start to worry a bit.
Rapoport also noted Thursday, citing anonymous sources close to the Seahawks, that the team is wary of Lynch’s unpredictability.
Team sources have explained to Rapoport that they have added (Christine) Michael and (Robert) Turbin in the draft over the past few years because Lynch’s actions are so unpredictable. As much as the team’s brass loves and appreciates Lynch, they don’t want to be left holding the bag if plans go awry.
It’s not unusual for stories of this nature to pop up in June. The Ravens seemingly dealt with it on an annual basis with Ed Reed.
Seahawks fans have no reason to panic unless Lynch is still giving off mixed signals come September.
Lynch will be entering the third year of a four-year contract he signed with the team in March 2012, earning a base salary of $5 million and bonuses that could bring the total to $7 million.
In the last three seasons, he’s led the NFL with 1,002 regular-season and playoff carries, totaling 4,517 rushing yards and 41 touchdowns.
In the meantime I would pay attention to this situation and put a little more stock into Michael as you may be able to swing a cheap deal for him now rather than when training camp gets started.