Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images The relationship between the Seattle Seahawks and running back Marshawn Lynch has become increasingly strained.
On Sunday, ESPN's Chris Mortensen reported that this would be Lynch's last year in Seattle. The report was seconded by SI's Peter King and others. Lynch is owed $7 million next year, but Mortenson says the salary is only part of the reason Lynch won't be back.
"The organization has grown tired of his ways, including pulling a no-show at the White House Super Bowl ceremony, his training camp holdout, and his possible contribution to locker-room distractions," Mortenson reports.
There also appears to be a personal rift between Lynch and head coach Pete Carroll. NFL Network's Ian Rapoport said on Sunday that Lynch and Carroll don't speak:
He has a tense relationship with coach Pete Carroll that much we know; does not communicate with Carroll, does not communicate with general manager John Schneider, really just keeps to himself and keeps to his teammates.
Carroll initially took a hardline stance when Lynch held out of training camp this summer, telling reporters, "It's a contract for a reason."
The Seahawks eventually made a minor concession to end the holdout, giving Lynch an extra $1.5 million in 2014-2015 salary, but the contract showdown reportedly created animosity between the two.
"Sources close to Lynch say he harbors bitterness towards the Seahawks Commander in Chief, Pete Carroll, the residual effects of a training camp holdout and organizational proclamations his workload would be reduced," NFL Network's Mike Silver said on Sunday.
Carroll predictably downplayed the general perception that his team had issues inside the locker room after Sunday's ugly 13-9 win over Carolina:
The things that have been said have been said on the outside. We have no problem. No problem. Whatever the conversation is that’s the job of the media to try to figure stuff out. That’s not what’s going on here. I have no problem. It was not a distraction at all. Our guys don’t care about what’s being said. We’ve been prepared all year that there would be stuff like this, there would be controversy, there would be storylines that would try to get in between us. We’re fine. That isn’t the adversity. The adversity is we’re 3-3. That’s the adversity. We haven’t played as well as we wanted to. We had three really close games that we didn’t finish and we needed to finish a football game. Again, that’s why we’re so proud to take this one on the road today.
Lynch, in classic Lynch fashion, had this to say after the game:
The Lynch-Carroll story comes on the heals of the team's ugly breakup with Percy Harvin.
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