Expect to hear more from Lynch now

January, 5, 2014
Jan 5
2:05
PM ET
RENTON, Wash. -- Expect to hear more comments now from Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch as long as the Seahawks are in the playoffs. Big brother taking $50,000 out of your pocket tends to change a man’s perspective.

The NFL fined Lynch the five-figure sum last week for his refusal to talk to the media all season, which is why he held a 1-minute, 23-second question-and-answer session with reporters after practice Friday.

Lynch
The fine also was a warning from the NFL office, letting Lynch know that his silence will not be tolerated in the playoffs.

Personally, I have no problem with Lynch’s silence. For whatever reason, he doesn’t like talking to reporters. However, Lynch usually is friendly and polite in the locker room. He often plays his favorite tunes, quite loudly, at his locker while he laughs and jokes with teammates.

If a reporter asks him a question, he simply answers that he doesn’t have anything to say.

But agree or disagree, rules are rules and every player knows them going into the season. The NFL requires its players to speak to the media on a regular basis.

That doesn’t mean a player has to answer questions every day. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson talks to reporters in a group session once a week at the team facility and after each game.

The NFL is all about publicity and positive image. NFL executives won’t allow one of the best players on a team starting a playoff run, and possibly a Super Bowl appearance, to go into it with a no-comment policy.

For example, let’s assume Lynch won the MVP Award in the Super Bowl, not an outrageous assumption. Hundreds of reporters would be waiting to hear what he had to say about his performance and the game in general.

The NFL has no intention of allowing that player to go silent on the biggest day of the season. And this situation didn’t come as a surprise to Lynch. He’s been warned all season that he needed to start speaking to reporters, occasionally, or he would be fined.

So the end result is this: Lynch likely will continue to talk to reporters, begrudgingly maybe, as long as the Seahawks are in the playoffs. Not fun for him, but there are worse fates in life.

Terry Blount

ESPN Seattle Seahawks reporter

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