Cowboys, Marshawn Lynch: Not worth the trouble
Despite rumors to the contrary, the Dallas Cowboys should not even consider signing running back Marshawn Lynch should he be available in the off season.
There is no question that the Dallas Cowboys have a long list of needs as the calendar creeps towards free agency and the NFL Draft. High on that list is adding depth and quality to the running back position and though one of the best running backs of the last decade, Marshawn Lynch is almost certainly to be available, Dallas should look elsewhere for a runner.
Lynch’s current team, the Seattle Seahawks are virtually guaranteed to get rid of Lynch because his $11.5 million salary cap hit for 2016 is far too much to pay a running back that gained only 417 yards on 111 carries in 2015. At age 29, Lynch is showing signs of slowing down in that his yards per carry dropped to 3.8 and he missed nine games for Seattle this season.
Lynch will likely want a multi-year contract worth somewhere close to the $9 million he is set to make next season. And while Seattle’s general manager John Schneider recently said he thinks Lynch is leaning towards retirement, it is difficult to see any player walking away from the kind of money Lynch would make by playing in Seattle next year or forcing Seattle to cut him.
Now rumors are surfacing that Dallas could be a suitor for Lynch.
But ESPN.com’s Jean-Jacques Taylor makes a great point about Dallas’ recent history with running backs.
“The Cowboys let 26-year-old DeMarco Murray leave via free agency for Philadelphia after he set single-season franchise records for yards (1,845) and carries (392).” Taylor said. “Lynch was the league’s second-highest paid running back, and is scheduled to earn $6 million next year. He held out in 2014 for more cash, so the thought that he would come to Dallas on a bargain is silly.”
But the issue with Lynch is not just about money and production. It is about fit and Lynch would not be the type of player Dallas needs in its locker room.
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Though he has been adored by many of his former Seattle teammates as the heart of the team, he is also difficult to deal with at times. In fact, TMZ.com has video of Lynch getting aggressive with a camera operator. The story also hints at Lynch not getting along well with his Seattle teammates.
The last player Dallas needs on its roster is another me-first mercurial disruption that at any moment could bring more negativity and unwanted turmoil to the team.
It is already almost too much to ask Cowboys’ head coach Jason Garrett to massage a roster with players like wide receiver Dez Bryant, corner Orlando Scandrick, and possibly linebacker Rolando McClain and defensive end Greg Hardy (should Dallas resign the latter two players which are set to be free agents this off season).
Scandrick, McClain and Hardy all have been suspended by the NFL at some point in their careers, as has Lynch. In 2009, he was suspended for two games for pleading guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge.
Also, in 2012, Lynch was arrested for DUI just months after receiving a lucrative contract extension (but after pleading the charge down to aggravated driving he was not suspended).
Throughout his tenure in Dallas, Garrett has talked about acquiring players of high character and high talent. In some cases, Cowboy’s owner and general manager Jerry Jones has usurped Garrett’s wishes and gambled on talented players of questionable character (such as Hardy) because those players were deemed talented enough to gamble on.
Unfortunately for Lynch, it does not seem that his talent remains high enough to validate his character questions. The player that was fined by the NFL $100,000 in 2014 for not speaking to the media is simply not going to help Dallas on the field or off.
If he is unable to handle the media spotlight in Seattle, it is impossible to fathom Lynch being cooperative with the hoard of national and local media members dedicated to covering America’s Team.
But perhaps a player that refuses to speak to many of his teammates and the media is just what Jerry Jones wants. After all, it would give Jones even more time for his own public pontifications.
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