JERSEY CITY - Marshawn Lynch needed the help of a New Jersey State Trooper to fight his way through the throng of cameras and reporters that clogged the third floor of the team's hotel during media availability yesterday. The officer probably didn't have to tell Lynch what he already knows.
That he has the right to remain silent.
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Lynch mostly exercised that right for the second day in a row, answering a few brief questions for about six minutes before ending his participation in the 45-minute window of availability. Unlike Tuesday when he simply stood back from Media Day and participated in an hourlong staring contest with reporters, this time Lynch bailed on the event altogether once he had his fill of such deep, penetrating queries about where he had dinner and how excited he is to be in the Super Bowl.
"I'm just here so I don't get fined," Lynch said.
Lynch lost the sunglasses that shielded his face on Tuesday, but this time he was wearing oversized headphones (although not on his ears). He said he appreciated the media's presence, "but I just don't get it."
The NFL determined that while Lynch was not in compliance with the spirit of the rules regarding media availability on Tuesday, that he did fulfill his literal obligations. "Players are required to participate and he participated," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said on Tuesday. The league said it would continue to monitor the situation.
On Wednesday morning, the Pro Football Writers Association issued a statement that it was "extremely disappointed in the lack of meaningful access" that Lynch gave reporters on Tuesday and called the league's stance and refusal to fine Lynch "an affront to our membership."
"However," the statement added, "we are encouraged that the league will continue to closely monitor this situation."