The running back position always leaves people wanting more. It all depends on the team that you root for, really. However, in most cases, fans of teams always want more from their running backs. To illustrate my point, look at the following scenarios:
Scenario A: Team has an established, productive between-the-tackles or outside-the-tackles running back. The team employing said back wants either
a) a back who can spell the lead back and be just as effective,
b) a spell back who is the opposite of what the lead back is (in terms of inside/outside prowess), or
c) one who does less of whatever the current running back does poorly.
Scenario B: Team does not have an established, productive running back. This team requires either
a) a productive running back who is effective running the ball either between the tackles or outside, then
b) repeat the following wants from Scenario A.
Obviously he can be productive and help spell some of our other backs; most importantly, he is talented. He also comes with baggage, and is one slip-up away from taking a sabbatical for a year. Yet to trade him for nothing seems wasteful. Or does it?
You asked about the role of Marshawn Lynch come Week 1, or if he'll be on the team at all at that point. Opinions after the jump.
Eric starts by deferring, as he's sort of been over this before:
Do I need to answer this?
MattRichWarren introduces the concept of value when talking about Marshawn:
There is no value in trading Lynch, so I think he is on the opening day roster. If some team offered them a first- or (early) second-day pick next year, I think the Bills would take it. I don't see anyone doing that, though.
Der Jaeger agrees with MRW and expands on it a bit:
I have to think that Buffalo is keeping Lynch, because his value isn't anywhere close to the offers Buddy Nix is getting. I see Lynch slimming down and getting 10-12 carries a game. If he plays well, he could either regain his starting job, or play to what Nix believes he's worth.
Brian talks about value in a different way, relating it to the needs of the team:
I think Lynch will be on the roster Week 1, because he still has a defined role, even if it's more of a complementary one. Nix won't move him just to move him - he has more utility to the team as a part-timer than as a fourth- or fifth-round pick. The team still hasn't figured out precisely what they're going to do with C.J. Spiller, either, so Lynch still has carries coming his way.
Countering the notions of value, I take a cut our losses approach:
Lynch should be dealt or cut, as it is the smart decision. It's not about value anymore here. As tough of a pill as it is to swallow, it will be hard to get anything for him, as the league would know that the Bills have a crowded backfield and the low-ball offers will come fast and furious. With that being said, he should not be around to cause any distraction to a team that needs to come together under Chan, so deal him or cut him, but don't keep him.
Continuing the move away from the idea of value, Kurupt talks about the logical way that Lynch leaves the Bills:
For now, I'm guessing Lynch remains a Bill. Unless a contender loses their RB and doesn't have any other options ( in SD or in GB for example), I think a trade won't be happening. It'd have happened by now if it was going to happen. I can safely say I doubt he gets cut. His role will be limited, but he'll get a chance at redemption. Beyond that, who knows?
Jeff Winters echos Kurupt's sentiments, but reminds us about Lynch's potential attitude:
Marshawn gets dealt in training camp if another team suffers an injury to a running back that they deem important. All evidence so far indicates that the Bills view Marshawn as an asset worth a certain value, but not as a running back they can or want to count on. I’d put his chances at being traded at 25%, but only if the Bills get what they perceive as value (e.g. pick in Round 2, possibly 3). If Marshawn does make it to Week 1, he gets 6-10 carries a game as a power runner, especially since we’re likely to run the ball a lot. If he loses some weight and shows the passion/drive that got him drafted high, there’s a chance he can break out and regain his job. There’s also the very real chance he mopes through the motions like he did previously.
It seems that people don't necessarily think Lynch will keep his nose clean for the year; Ron from NM has his doubts:
Lynch won't be cut, and it seems unlikely that he will be traded. My guess is that he'll wind up getting around 10 carries per week unless Spiller or Jackson get injured. Of course, that assumes that Lynch doesn't do something stupid and get himself suspended.
Keeping along the attitude path, kaisertown doesn't rule out a less-mentioned but probable situation:
I still think Lynch will hold out. Why would he show to camp when being in Buffalo will cost him millions of dollars between last year and this upcoming season? The Bills don't seem interested in trading him, but I think that will be a mistake. Marshawn won't be a huge part of the offense this year. He's more risk than reward. What do the Bills actually gain by keeping him?
The Roundtable seems to have reached a consensus on the Lynch situation:
- unlikely to be traded
- second (at best) or third option at running back
- attitude could be an issue
So what do you think? Can Lynch redeem himself? Will he get that chance as a Bill?
The forum is yours.