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Thursday, March 5, 2009
Now Lynch must answer to the real judge


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

Buffalo Bills running back Marshawn Lynch heard from the judge.

Now he awaits word from the executioner.

 Lynch

Lynch on Thursday received three years probation, was ordered to 80 hours of community service and lost his search-and-seizure rights (he must comply with police even if they don't have a warrant) as part of a plea bargain for multiple gun charges stemming from his Feb. 11 arrest in Culver City, Calif.

Lynch pleaded guilty to a concealed weapons charge. In return, the Los Angeles County Superior Court dropped the other two misdemeanor charges.

But the punishment judge Ralph Amado handed down is minor compared to what NFL commissioner Roger Goodell might do.

"Today we learned of Marshawn's guilty plea to the misdemeanor violation," the Buffalo Bills said in a statement. "He has accepted responsibility for his actions and apologized for his mistake. The league is now reviewing the matter under the NFL Personal Conduct Policy."

Lynch is facing a likely suspension for his latest transgressions. He'll be considered a repeat offender because of last summer's controversial hit-and-run incident in Buffalo.

Lynch already is groveling.

"Today I pled guilty to a misdemeanor violation of having a firearm in a vehicle," Lynch said in a statement released by his attorney, M. Gerald Schwartzbach. "I am embarrassed by my recent arrest and conviction. I deeply regret that I placed myself in this situation. I have made mistakes in the past. Although I have learned many lessons over recent years, I obviously have not learned enough.

"I apologize to my family, the Buffalo Bills organization, my teammates, the Buffalo community, and Commissioner Goodell. I have already learned from this recent mistake and am sincerely committed to being a more responsible citizen and better representative of the NFL."

Many already have forgiven Lynch because he's a sensational running back, a Pro Bowler who has rushed for more than 1,000 yards in each of his first two seasons.

The Bills, however, have been talking to several free-agent running backs about coming aboard. They have hosted visits with Fred Taylor, DeShaun Foster and Kevin Jones.

This story isn't over yet.