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RB Michael Robinson is stuck in limbo

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Fullback Michael Robinson would like to see the NFL change its rules on free agency. (Associated Press photo)

By Liz Mathews

Seahawks running back Michael Robinson joined The John Clayton Show on Saturday to discuss the NFL lockout and what it feels like to be a player in wait.

"I'm one of those guys in limbo," said Robinson. "I'm going in to year six so I don't know if I am a free agent, restricted agent or what. I'm just waiting."

While it may seem like a technicality, Clayton explained that an unrestricted free agent can demand whatever he wants from the market, and play where he wants to play. Alternatively, if restricted, a player may be stuck with a one-year tender offer and unable to go out and seek that long-term contract.

"I don't know if many fans understand the average playing career is 2.2 years," said Robinson. "I've beat the odds by going into year six and personally believe that that rule needs to be changed. After four years you should be able to go anywhere you want to and be a free agent. But like I said, I'm in limbo, and if we go back to the 2010 rules, I'll be tendered with the Seahawks. I love playing for the Seahawks. Love being out there. Love playing in front of the 12th Man. Love Pete Carroll and the whole system he has going out there.

"But at the same time, you want to be compensated for what you do and I think a tendered offer is some dollars less than what I even made last year. So I'm kinda stuck and just waiting to see what comes out of these court proceedings and what comes out of this mediation and hopefully we have a new deal."

Robinson said it feels like he's on the outside looking in with regards to the labor situation, but that it's promising that the two sides are sitting in front of each other and talking.

"I don't think that we really wanted to take it to the courts, just knowing the process the courts have to go through," said Robinson. "But that's where we are now and hopefully both sides see that it's about to get real urgent."

And it's the rookies who will be hurting the most.

"They don't know whether to keep training if this thing turns around or whether to go sign with the UFL or in Canada or whether to go coach somewhere," said Robinson. "They just don't know. I feel for those guys. I hope this thing gets worked out so those guys have a better picture of what their future will be."

Adamant that he wouldn't have lasted this long in the league if it wasn't for all the offseason activities, Robinson said he learned so much just being around the veterans.

"That's the great part about our game," he said. "It's a team sport and you get to learn from other guys. Just the fact that some of these young guys aren't in the locker room with some of these veterans, I think it's really putting those guys at a disadvantage.

"That's another aspect people don't really realize is that these rookies -- whenever the game does start -- are going to go straight to practice. From a tempo aspect, I think you are going to -- and hopefully you won't -- you're going to start seeing guys getting hurt during practice. I think this year not having OTAs, minicamps and offseason programs, I think really you are going to see some of the worst injuries this game has ever seen because for the first time you are going to have young guys who have never trained on their own. Some of these young guys have never done this before, they don't understand their bodies yet.

"You're getting a lot of veterans now saying 'we gotta take bull by the horns and take accountability for the things that are going on with this team.' "

Speaking of veterans, Robinson provided his thoughts as to which free agents would land where in the NFC West and predicted that Matt Hasselbeck would be back in Seattle.

"Matt is a great leader," Robinson said. "He played lights out in the playoffs. We love going to war for him. He's a great quarterback, a great leader, he understands everything, and you get a sense of calmness when he walks up to the huddle because he's been there.

"He's got a lot of fight left in him."

Listen to the Michael Robinson interview

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