A few weeks back, I wrote this. It was back when we thought Marshawn Lynch was going to hold out of the mandatory mini camp; he ended up showing up, but I don’t think he did much of anything while he was here. The thought was: he wanted to blow up his current deal for a slightly bigger deal that would put him in the top 2 or 3 of running backs in the NFL. Or else, you know, he could always just retire. Because he said the word “retire” once in a sentence sometime before.
My stance hasn’t really changed on the subject, but I guess my views have softened a little bit. From what I’ve gathered, Marshawn isn’t necessarily holding a knife to the throat of this organization, demanding they put all the money in the bag or else. It sounds like Marshawn just wants a little bonus. What’s an extra mil between friends? He sees the writing on the wall like everyone else; he knows he’s not going to be around in 2015. Not on his current deal. MAYBE on a restructured deal where he makes millions less. But, no, probably not that either. This is it. He’s either going to move on to another city, or he’ll retire as a Seahawk at season’s end. And, since he helped this team to its first championship, and since he still figures to be a big part of this offense in 2014, all he wants is a cherry on top of a very nice career in Seattle.
Is a million extra dollars REALLY going to cripple things? Put everything else aside and just look at this move in a vacuum: what if we gave him the extra million? How would that affect what we’ve got going with this team, cap-wise?
According to various sources, the Seahawks have about $7 million to $8 million in cap room. I think, something like $4 million of that has to be reserved for injuries – paying new, replacement-level players to fill in once guys already on the roster go on IR – so that knocks it at least in half. I don’t know what else needs to be saved for bonuses or other things, but let’s just say, if things stay the way they are, the Seahawks could have a nice little chunk of change to roll over into next year if they so desired. Or, they could use this mini little surplus towards an extension for Avril or Wright or someone.
Taking a million from that small-ish reserve and giving it to Lynch wouldn’t be nothing.
The Seahawks stand to save $7.5 million next year if they cut Lynch. He has only $1.5 million in dead money, which isn’t really bad at all. There’s no real way to restructure his contract and lessen the blow for next year, while also keeping him on the roster for next year. And besides that, I don’t think he was ever really in the plans for next year anyway. If that’s the case, why did we draft Christine Michael? To let him ride the pine for three straight years, before finally being eligible to play in the fourth, which would be a contract year? It makes no sense. And financially, it REALLY makes no sense when you take into account we’ve got to get ready to pay Wilson and Wagner and others. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: the money has to come from somewhere.
So, no, we won’t be factoring in Lynch for 2015. It’s 2014, and then it’s “Smell Ya Later”. Now, the question remains: do we want this parting of the ways to go smoothly? Or, do we want it to end in acrimony, followed by Lynch playing for the 49ers in 2015 in a time-share with Gore, consistently ramming it down our throats? Is a million dollars worth a little peace of mind?
Like I said before, I’m still essentially of the same opinion: no, it’s not worth it. Maybe he can work out a side deal with Paul Allen where he washes his cars once a month during the season, but it absolutely shouldn’t come out of the cap. We need all the roll-over space we can get. This dynasty thing only works if we’re able to retain our most important players (and replace the ones we’re able to replace with fresh faces on rookie contracts). And, that’s saying nothing of the precedent it would set. What, now we gotta hand out special bonuses every time someone lives up to his big, fat contract?
I get that life in the NFL is fleeting. I get that these men have a finite number of years where they can make as much money as humanly possible before they’re released to the wolves. I feel for you, except not really, because a lot of you are millionaires and I’m not. The rest of you make hundreds of thousands of dollars and I don’t. Don’t get me wrong, you earned it. You’re MUCH better at football than I am. But, you know how this is a business, and how you’ve got to look out for number one? Well, in the business of being a fan, I’m ALSO looking out for number one. While there are a good number of players I enjoy watching – and would consider myself a fan of – I’m first and foremost a fan of the TEAM. Yes, yes, I’m essentially rooting for clothing, but that’s just it: the players come and go, but the team is here forever (or until some greedy cockhead sells it to out-of-state buyers whose sole goal is to move the team to that other state, but that’s neither here nor there). As sick and as wrong as it sounds, as a fan, I have no choice but to be on the side of ownership in these things. Because, like they want what’s best for them, I want what’s best for me. And, what’s best for me is the Seahawks winning the Super Bowl, each and every year, until the end of time.
If the players are happy with the money they make while helping achieve that goal, then all the better.
That having been said, if the Seahawks did make this one-time exception for Beastmode, I certainly wouldn’t complain. It’s only a million God damn dollars! If our chances of being a dynasty rested on a measly million dollars – when the salary cap is only expected to go up and up and up in the coming years – then I’d say we’ve got a pretty flimsy fucking dynasty on our hands. But, since I don’t believe that for a second: pay that man his money. I mean, what do I care, right? I like the little freakstorm.