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January 24, 2015 at 11:21 AM

How will Marshawn Lynch react at media day?

The arrival of the Seahawks in Arizona Sunday signals the official kickoff of Super Bowl week.

And as the thousands of national and international media members also begin arriving, one of the unavoidable intrigues of Super Bowl week is this — how will Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch handle the media responsibilities required of every player?

Lynch was fined $100,000 earlier this season for not complying with the NFL’s rules on cooperating with the media, and it’s known that he is subject to fines that could be vastly higher depending on how he responds at the Super Bowl. Lynch was not available to the media after the NFC Championship game, and while he has not yet been fined for that, that absence could factor into future decisions, as well.

All players are required to attend the official Super Bowl media day on Tuesday, as well as be available during assigned times on Wednesday and Thursday.

Lynch attended each session last year, though he handled them rather uniquely, for the most part giving short answers or avoiding questions and leaving early. Recall that at the official Media Day last season, he ended up giving a brief interview to Deion Sanders of the NFL Network that elicited his famous “I’m just about that action, boss” quote.

The NFL ultimately decided that while Lynch may not have cooperated in quite the same fashion as other players, he did enough to avoid being fined. Still, it’s known the NFL would like to avoid a similar situation this year.

No one, though, knows for sure what Lynch will do this time around. But it is known that team officials and others are talking with Lynch, knowing that the NFL will be keeping a close eye on the situation.

While many Seahawks fans are sympathetic to Lynch on this and wonder why the NFL can’t leave him alone — a feeling shared by his Seattle teammates — the NFL views this as a basic job responsibility (the┬áNFL Media Policy mandates that players must be available to the media during the practice week at the team facility and in the locker room following all games. NFL player contracts include this standard language: “Player will cooperate with the news media, and will participate upon request in reasonable activities to promote the Club and the League.”)

What may be the NFL’s biggest concern is allowing players to set a precedent of not cooperating with the media. Those responsibilities are, for many players, the least appetizing aspect of their job. But the NFL views it as important and doesn’t want players to be able to point one player getting away with it as an excuse for them to try it, as well.

Asked Friday about how much the team would get involved in talking to Lynch about cooperating with the media at the Super Bowl, Seattle general manager John Schneider said: “Really, I honestly can’t get into that. I mean, we have to support everybody, whether it’s Marshawn Lynch or any other player. And we will continue to do that. Regarding the media (Seattle’s media relations staff does) a phenomenal job with that.”


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