Friday, March 6, 2009

More Trouble With Marshawn Lynch

Since it's a slow news day I thought I would get to a situation that's been flying a bit under the radar with Free Agency and Terrell Owens hogging the spotlight.

Back in early February, Marshawn Lynch was arrested in Culver City, California on felony charges of possession of a concealed firearm. There were also four joints found but they were not included in the charges stemming from the arrest as the cops couldn't determine whose they were or who was smoking. (Easy way to fix that by the way - head everyone over to Tito's Tacos and but a lone burrito in the middle of a table. First one there is the stoner. Tito's Tacos is pretty tasty by the way or was when I last ate there half a dozen years ago. Check it out if you ever have the chance. End Tangent.)

Since then, Lynch has had his mom come out and say she's gonna break out the switch, the Bills come out and say they have to wait and see if this changes their draft plans and now John Clayton saying on ESPN that the league will probably consider last year's hit and run brouhaha in his potential suspension and that might result in a 2-4 game ding.

Between this and latest the Brandon Marshall issues, I know there is a bigger article percolating in my brain, but for now we'll focus on Lynch and not the larger question of talent and trouble which keeps popping up.

Lynch has tremendous talent and - from personal experience I can tell you he's a nice guy. Very engaging and very charming. He also does an impressive standing backflip.

But despite the positives, he's now been involved with two pretty significant instances in two years. That isn't a great average.

The Bills agree and I think they - like Clayton - are worried Lynch will get dinged not just for the gun incident, but for the hit and run. Yes, that's double jeapordy but this isn't the Court System it's the NFL. And history counts with Sheriff Goodell.

So let's assume Lynch is gone even two games (let's pretend he gets four and bargains it down to two in the appeal). What does this mean for the Bills?

Well, first of all, the Bills tendered an offer to RFA Fred Jackson. That was after a brief fling with Fred Taylor who ended up a little further north in New England. Jackson was pretty solid in his regular duties last season, so much so that Lynch Fantasy owners were panicking that he might get replaced. And maybe Jackson was getting too many carries, but he was hot and you had to think they were already planning to use him a little more this season.

Well, after last season, the signing was likely to happen anyway, but it took on more seriousness with Lynch potentially sitting a few games.

Because the Bills have to be wondering if Lynch will keep his streak alive for a third year or incident. Long term, if they cannot be sure he will keep his nose clean then they need to solidify this position. And let's face it - Lynch hasn't given them a lot of room to be cavalier. They need to be careful.

So Jackson is likely to get a significant number of carries in both the preseason and potentially the beginning of the regular season. The Bills need to have consistency at the position - they need it for Edwards and the passing game, they need it for the overall run game. They cannot afford to be one weapon down.

And again, even if Lynch isn't suspended this time (and I find that a dubious possibility) they cannot assume he won't mess up again. That may seem harsh but you really cannot blame them.

Keep an eye on Jackson and don't be surprised if the Bills take a long look at the running back position somewhere in the draft whether or not a suspension comes down prior to the April draft date.

Marshawn Lynch is an incredibly talented back, there is no denying that.

There is also no denying he's going to be on a short leash. He's got two strikes so far.

A third and the Bills might decide he's out.

No comments: