He’s quiet, but Lynch sure generates a lot of noise

Marshawn Lynch runs against the Packers in the NFC title game (Seahawks.com)For a guy as quiet as he is, Marshawn Lynch sure does make a lot of noise.

And he made a lot of it over the weekend.

It all started with a report Friday that he was going to wear $1,100 gold-plated cleats against the Packers, followed by a report Sunday morning that the NFL would not let him play if he did so.

As it turned out, he played in shoes that had blue and green tops and gold soles. And he made a lot of noise with them, running for a team playoff-record 157 yards and a touchdown in the 28-22 comeback win that vaulted Seattle into the Super Bowl for the second straight year.

It remains to be seen whether the No Fun League fines Lynch for the gold shoe bottoms — or for another crotch grab while scoring. Not sure why he insists on doing that — it’s such a teenage maneuver. But, hey, if Lynch wants to be a dick, that’s his choice.

Speaking of choices, another report Sunday indicated that the Hawks now are leaning toward keeping Lynch.

The team and Lynch have been at odds over his contract since last offseason — he held out of training camp for a week — and various reports this season had indicated that the team was ready to part ways with him.

In November, Pete Carroll admitted there was an issue related to Lynch’s contract — which the team adjusted up from $5 million to $6.5 million during the holdout — and that “we’re working through it.”

On Sunday, NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport — who has been the reporter on many of the “Lynch is gone” stories all season — said the Seahawks are now interested in keeping Lynch.

Rapoport said: “I’m told Seattle is now more than open to the possibility of bringing Marshawn Lynch back at $5 million a year, mainly because he actually has outperformed this contract and clearly established himself as the identity of this team. Basically, they don’t have a choice, based on the way he plays, (but) to bring him back.”

Rapoport is a young reporter and often reports “news” that is just a rehash of stuff that has been known forever — such as his no-duh report last week that the Hawks are going to give Russell Wilson a huge extension this year.

In this case, Rapoport’s report is full of holes.

First of all, Lynch is already making $5 million a year. He is due that much in 2015, along with a $2 million roster bonus. So, if he has outperformed his contract and the Hawks want to pay him commensurately, it would have to be at a higher rate than $5 million.

But if the Hawks want to pay him $5 million, then nothing has changed — and it is still just as likely that Lynch retires (whether the Hawks win the Super Bowl or not) or holds out again or forces the Hawks to cut or trade him.

As for the “they don’t have any choice,” that is nonsense. Of course they have a choice. They could move on from him and still succeed behind Wilson and a defense that is set to remain at the top for the next three years.

But Lynch has been such an integral part of the team — even the defenders feed off his relentless style — and the first option surely is to keep him. But at what cost and for how long?

The team can easily afford the $7 million he is due to make in 2015; so, if both sides are fine with that and Lynch still wants to play, it’s easy to see him playing out his contract.

He will be 29 next season, so the Hawks will tread cautiously along the topic of extending him — if they are in fact even thinking about it. He takes a lot of managing during the season because of his torso issues (back and stomach) and the Hawks have done well with it — he has missed only one game since he arrived in 2010.

General manager John Schneider most likely will not want to pay him more than he is due in 2015 — he’s only going to get older and more beat up as he plays. If they were to give him, say, a two-year extension, it surely would include the same per-game roster bonuses that were in his last deal (the Hawks converted some of those into guaranteed salary as part of that $1.5 million bump last summer). Maybe a $5 million base, with $2 million in per-game roster bonuses each season.

Of course, that all assumes he still wants to play.

In a rare interview, after the loss in Kansas City in mid-November, Lynch told Michael Silver of NFL Media: “Do I think I’ll be gone after this season? I don’t know, man. The Seahawks, their front office gets in the media; they talk a lot. I don’t talk too much. I just play the game. If they have something going on, I don’t know about it.”

Well, we all should know about it within the next two months, because this situation likely will be settled before his roster bonus is due in March.


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