Kansas City Chiefs superstar running back Jamaal Charles came into training camp woefully underpaid, but his holdout ended briefly as the Chiefs worked quickly to give their most valuable player a new deal. Charles was easily the focal point of the Chiefs offense and was incredibly instrumental to their turn-around last year. Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch showed displeasure with his contract earlier this offseason, and he heads into training camp on a holdout.
Lynch will make $5 million this year with $500,000 possible in bonuses and $5.5 million next season with an additional $2 million possible in bonuses, so while he is also one of the best running backs in the league on a smashmouth, running offense, he’s also fairly compensated More importantly, running backs have a short shelf-life in this league, Lynch is already signed until he is 30, and he doesn’t offer nearly as much in the passing game as Charles.
Even so, a source tells Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio that there’s a “zero percent chance” Lynch reports to training camp without receiving a raise for the final two years of his contract. Lynch isn’t looking for an extension, as he wants a simple raise and potentially the chance to cash in after those two years are up. Since he’s already making $10.5 million over these next two seasons (if his incentives check out, that would kick up to $13 million), the Seahawks should have no incentive to get a deal done.
Florio also reports that the Seahawks and Lynch have been in “on and off” talks for four months, but the ‘Hawks don’t want to budge on this. I can understand why, since they don’t want to simply give into a player’s demands for a raise, especially since they are accustomed to players taking discounts to remain with the NFL’s premier organization. Lynch is one of the ten highest-paid running backs, but his holdout is serious given his personality. I wonder when this stand-off will end, and I have a feeling that the Seahawks hope Christine Michael can explode. But Lynch is such a key part of the Seahawks offense, as he has 616 rushes over the past two seasons, and his elite rushing ability helped overcome some disappointing run blocking in front of him (that said, the run blocking will improve next year with a healthy Max Unger in the middle).