By John Boyle
Former Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson was at Seahawks minicamp as an observer—he’s in town to get his Super Bowl ring tonight—and was kind enough to spend 15 minutes or so with a few members of the media Thursday afternoon.
While Robinson has not signed retirement papers and doesn’t plan to do so this year, he acknowledged it would take a special situation to get him back on the field, saying “a team would have to tell me some pretty good stuff.”
Robinson said he’s still in good enough shape to play, but isn’t sure he wants to go through the grind of a season, not after last year when the health scare he had in the preseason made it so he can no longer take anti-inflammatories. That meant that instead of being able to take ibuprofen and other pain killers to mask the damage done on Sundays, Robinson was grinding through the week in considerable pain, usually not feeling better until Saturday instead of, say, Wednesday.
“I still love Sundays,” he said. “Monday through Saturday gets difficult… The turnover with my body was just taking a toll.”
Robinson said he is pursing broadcasting opportunities as if he is retired—and it would be surprising if ESPN, the NFL Network or some other network couldn’t find a spot for a former player as intelligent and personable as Robinson—and he has also talked with Pete Carroll about the possibility of coaching someday.
When it was suggested that maybe he could keep playing if he were on the “Marshawn Lynch plan” of practicing, Robinson laughed and said, “That’s pretty enticing.”
And speaking of Lynch, Robinson often served as the unofficial Marshawn Lynch spokesman when the two were locker neighbors, so naturally Robinson was asked about Lynch’s reported desire for a new contract.
“He’s confided in me about the situation,” Robinson said. “This is not the time to talk about it yet. When it is, he’ll let me know, and you guys will hear it.”
Robinson then went on to say, “The guy has been the face of this franchise for the last four years. Since the day he stepped in that door, it’s been Beast Mode. Just from my knowledge of it, he’s been the face of the franchise, Pete (Carroll), John (Schneider), they’ve made no qualms about saying that, and he’s just like ‘I just want to be paid like it.’”
While Robinson agrees with Lynch’s reasoning, he also understands it won’t be easy for his friend to get paid: “I think the devaluation of the back doesn’t help his case, the fact that he has two years let on his deal doesn’t help his case, which I’ve expressed to him. The fact that the biggest free agent running back signing (Chris Johnson) got $3.5 million a season doesn’t help him. But if you take Marshawn Lynch off the team last year, do we win the Super Bowl? I think all of us know the answer to that, so he just wants to be paid like it. He knows he has a short window left.”
“Nobody says anything when teams cut a guy at this juncture, though, so I’m all in for players getting their dollars, because you have a short life.”
Asked if age is a factor for the 28-year-old Lynch, Robinson said, “I don’t think it’s a factor for him. I think it’s a factor for them because 30 is this magic number.”
When Robinson said “them” he nodded his head upward, a reference to the front office decision makers on the second floor of the VMAC.
“He leads the league in carries the last three years, but he probably has the fewest carries all through training camp and preseason though,” Robinson said. “He gets his rest. So I don’t know. We’ll see.”