The list of Seahawks players and coaches who will sit at the 18 podiums on Media Day at the Prudential Center on Tuesday was conspicuously absent one premier name: Marshawn Lynch.
The notoriously media-shy running back was not included among those who will hold court at the first mandatory media appearance of the week. While it would not be unlikely for Lynch to blow off the event and take a steep fine from the NFL – he’s already on the hook for $100,000 for failing to make himself available to reporters – the running back reportedly told NFL.com’s Michael Silver that he is still undecided about attending.
That would infuriate the NFL to no end. Two years ago, the league fined Giants DE Osi Umenyiora $20,000 for bailing on a mandatory Wednesday media availability. That was not for Media Day, though.
Lynch has rarely spoken to reporters throughout the season. He received a $50,000 fine for his silence but he appealed. Ray Anderson, the NFL's executive vice president of football operations, ruled to hold the $50,000 in abeyance after Lynch committed to complying with league policy. The shared understanding at the time was that any additional violation would result in the $50,000 being collected, and a minimum fine of $50,000 more being assessed.
Last week in Seattle, Lynch was approached by a Newsday reporter. He politely declined to answer over the thumping beat and obscene lyrics that pulsed from the speakers in his locker.
Lynch’s Seahawks teammates do not seem bothered by his silence.
“If you ask me it’s really smart because anything he says or does can be twisted,” WR Golden Tate said of Lynch’s tactic. “You see how Richard Sherman, he says something to the media and then he’s a bad guy for saying he had a helluva game. It’s probably smart to keep his mouth shut.”
And probably expensive.