That buzz you feel in the air today is coming from the VMAC, where the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks officially kicked off training camp Friday.
By all accounts, it was a celebratory atmosphere as Seahawks players and fans reunited for the first time since Seattle destroyed Denver in February to take home the Lombardi Trophy (not counting Richard Sherman’s softball game, of course).
However, as you’re probably well aware, one big-name Seahawk was not in attendance today: Marshawn Lynch, aka Beast Mode.
Lynch, of course, has decided to holdout for a better contract, despite the fact he signed a four-year, $30 million deal just two years ago - a deal that, even in its current form, makes Lynch one of the best paid running backs in the league.
Still, based on the key role he played last season and his waning window as an NFL money earner, Lynch wants more cash - now. And in hopes of getting it, he’s positioning himself for a standoff that, if protracted, will likely dominate Seahawks headlines for the next month (or until Lynch eventually reports to the team).
Asked about the situation today, coach Pete Carroll was less player-friendly than he’s become known for, telling USA Today in less-than-subtle fashion that the Seahawks expect Lynch to come to his senses and get to work.
As Carroll told USA Today’s Tom Pelissero: “It’s a contract for a reason. We made a decision and it was signed, by us and by them. ... We expect them to honor their contract just as we will. We’re going to honor it and we expect them to do the same. … We’ve had a big plan for a long time working here, and Marshawn is a huge part of that plan, and we made a huge commitment to him a couple years ago. He remains a big part of that plan – if he’ll show up.”
Until he does, whether or not Lynch will show up to work will remain the biggest question in Seattle sports.