Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is expected to withhold his services from the team's mandatory minicamp next week as a show of frustration with his current contract, according to Yahoo! Sports' Rand Getlin. Should Lynch skip all three days of the minicamp, he will be subject to a $69,455 fine, per Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk.
Lynch is entering the third year of a four-year deal which still has $5 million being paid to him this year and $5.5 million coming in 2015 via base salary. However, the Oakland, Calif., native feels he is being underpaid after receiving $17 million the first two years of his deal.
Over the past three seasons, Lynch has been a top-flight player. The former first round pick of the Buffalo Bills in 2007 rushed for 1,204 yards in 2011 before posting a career-high 1,590 on five yards per carry in 2012. Last season, Lynch gained 1,257 yards on the ground and scored 12 touchdowns, giving him 35 over that span.
Having turned 28 years old in April, Lynch is still on the right side of 30 for a new deal. However, any kind of legitimate extension will bring him past that threshold. Seattle's offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell spoke this offseason about going to a "running back by committee" approach before backing off that notion recently, according to the Seattle Times.
There has been talk the team likes Christine Michael, a second-year back out of Texas A&M. General manager John Schneider certainly has tough decisions ahead, with the looming free agencies of Cliff Avril, Byron Maxwell and K.J. Wright after this campaign. Russell Wilson is also in line for a massive raise over his current sub million-dollar salary following the 2015-16 season.
Should Lynch hold out, this would not be the first time a running back has been a no-show in hopes of cashing in. Back in 2011, Chris Johnson was scheduled to make $1.065 million before missing the beginning of training camp for a new deal, per the Washington Post. Johnson had previously held out in 2010 and gained nothing, but a year later he was made the highest-paid running back in NFL history with a four-year, $53.5 million deal with $30M guaranteed.
Ultimately Johnson made it through three of those years before being released. He signed with the New York Jets this offseason on a two-year, $8 million contract.
Maurice Jones-Drew held out in 2012, pining for a more lucrative deal from the Jacksonville Jaguars after three consecutive seasons of 1,000-plus rushing yards. Jones-Drew held out for the entirety of the team's OTAs and minicamps before missing all of training camp. The Jaguars refused to bend, leaving Jones-Drew to come back days before Week 1. In the two seasons since, Jones-Drew has gained a total of 1,217 rushing yards.