ESPN's Adam Schefter reported on Sunday, Jan. 5, that Lynch's refusal to speak with the media during the season will cost him a fine of $50,000:
This week NFL fined Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch $50,000 - $50,000! - for not speaking to media throughout this season, per Seattle source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) January 5, 2014
Updates for Wednesday, Jan 8
Lynch issued a statement via Facebook on winning his appeal of the fine:
To all the 12s I appreciate your support. Wanted you to know I appealed the fine & won, but I’m still going to match all donations made at http://www.gofundme.com/626xk0 & donate it to a local Seattle charity. Thanks to Loren Summers for starting the site, we’ve talked & after the deadline, even if $50k isn't met & all contributions are given back, I'll donate the matched total # anyway. #12thman #Seahawks #BeastMode
Later in the evening John Boyle of the Everett Herald reports that Lynch didn't win the appeal:
NFL spokesman says Lynch didn't win appeal. Rather $50K is held so long as he complies. If he doesn't, it's that $50K & another $50K minimum— John Boyle (@johnpboyle) January 9, 2014
Updates for Monday, Jan. 6
Terry Blount of ESPN.com reports that Lynch may be receiving some help with the payment of his fine:
Some Seahawks fans have started a fund to help running backMarshawn Lynch pay his $50,000 fine to the NFL for refusing to speak to the media during the regular season.
As of 2 p.m. PT on Monday, over $2,000 had been raised at a gofundme.com page, titled “12th Man for Marshawn Lynch.”
Seahawks fans have bombarded Twitter with angry comments directed toward the NFL for fining Lynch, who spoke to reporters last week for the first time this season after the fine was imposed.
---End of update---
Chris Mortensen of ESPN weighed in on the penalty:
Lynch finally answered questions from reporters on Friday, Jan. 3 after practice, per ESPN's Terry Blount, but it was evidently too late for him to avoid being slapped with a fine.
The entirety of the rare "Beast Mode" exchange was recorded by Blount, which totaled six questions and lasted just one minute and 23 seconds. Two of Lynch's responses failed to exceed one sentence in length.
Lynch said that the season has "gone pretty well" and that he likes the Seahawks' chances in the postseason. He expressed that having a bye week will help him keep his body refreshed for the impending divisional-round clash with the New Orleans Saints.
The final two questions were the lengthiest replies Lynch provided at the podium just outside his locker room:
How has practice been this week with the first-team offense going against the first-team defense?
Lynch: We just took the approach of going all out against ourselves this week. When you get to practice against the best, it brings the best out of you.
You had a big game in the last home playoff game...Do you see a big game for you next weekend?
Lynch: I just hope to win, boss. Thank you. I appreciate it.
For the third consecutive season, Lynch ran for over 1,000 yards (1,257) and double-digit touchdowns (12) in driving one of the league's premier rushing attacks.
How would you assess Marshawn Lynch's fine?
Between Lynch's prowess on the ground, dual-threat quarterback Russell Wilson's Pro Bowl-caliber play and an elite defense, all the pieces are in place for the Seahawks to make a serious Super Bowl run.
As much as this Seattle squad has thrived on the field, though, there have been some issues away from the gridiron, with Lynch being no exception to that.
Three defensive players have been suspended for various offenses throughout the season (Walter Thurmond, Brandon Browner, Bruce Irvin).
The good news is that this won't result in a suspension for Lynch. He is also making $7 million in base salary this season, so it won't be too devastating of an impact on his income.
It should be interesting to see how the bruising back responds. If his epic run against the Saints in Seattle's last playoff home game during the 2010 season is any indication, big things should be expected.