When will it end?
That's what we asked the on-air staff at 710 ESPN Seattle. When will Marshawn Lynch's holdout be resolved? And while no one can say for certain, here's how the hosts see the situation playing out.
Brock Huard: I just received a court-mandated document regarding the NFL Concussion Lawsuit settlement. It arrived in the mail this weekend. On page one: "To get money, proof that injuries were caused by playing NFL football is not required."
All I can think is that this falls under "the cost of doing business" for a league that is taking in billions of dollars of revenue every year.
What does this have to do with Marshawn Lynch? Well, unfortunately, a holdout with your marquee running back is the cost of doing business when an organization realizes unprecedented success. Lynch has watched his peers in the locker room reap in millions of dollars in guaranteed signing bonuses, and he believes this holdout is his last chance at squeezing a few more guaranteed millions for himself. Good luck.
I don't see the Seahawks budging until Lynch gets back in camp, and even when he does I don't expect much in the form of guaranteed money but possibly some 2014 incentives. I expect that once the team tries to recoup some of his signing-bonus money, Lynch will think long and hard about what the end game of his holdout really looks like. Get to camp, Marshawn.
Michael Grey: Marshawn Lynch won't allow himself to lose serious money over this contract impasse. I would expect him in camp sometime on Tuesday before a big chunk of his signing bonus would be at risk. I'd also expect the Seahawks to waive any applicable penalties once he reports so as not to create any bad blood that would continue into the beginning of the season.
Dave Grosby: I think the holdout ends the week before the third preseason game. I don't think his contract gets redone in any meaningful way. Although we won't know the specifics, I am sure the team will not collect the fines and Lynch will ultimately have earned a break from training camp but no contract concessions for holding out.
Jim Moore: If I were making the call at the poker table, I'd go all in and cut ties with Marshawn Lynch by trading him, even if I could only get a third-round draft choice in return. That would free up money under the salary cap that would certainly allow you to sign K.J. Wright to an extension and perhaps Byron Maxwell, another player entering the final year of his deal. The thought of losing Wright and Maxwell to free agency next year is a bigger concern to me than losing Lynch this year.
(Read Moore's entire take on the situation on KitsapSun.com).
Dave Wyman: Regardless of how much we all love Russell Wilson, the Seahawks' offensive success comes from running the ball. Seattle was No. 1 and No. 2 in rushing attempts per game in 2012 and 2013, respectively.
Running the ball has led to four playoff wins and a Super Bowl title in those two years. Where would that running game be without Marshawn Lynch breaking tackles and minimizing lost-yardage-plays by refusing to be stopped? Where does it go with a backup running back like Robert Turbin or an unproven second-year player like Christine Michael, whose talent remains a mystery?
But what leverage does Lynch have? He's a 28-year-old running back who would need a suitor willing to give up a second- or third-round draft choice and pay him more than the $5 million he's scheduled to make this year. All of this for a position where productivity has historically declined at age 27.
Lynch is such an enigma that this could go anywhere from a sudden Barry Sanders-like retirement to Lynch reporting to camp tomorrow and playing out his current contract. I'll go with this: The Seahawks will find a clever way to make him happy by accelerating his pay in a way that doesn't hurt the salary cap or the team's future.