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Marshawn Lynch arrested, handed felony firearm charge

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RB Lynch facing legal issues... again (buffalobills.com)

As first reported here early yesterday by BearsNecessity of the California Golden Blogs, Buffalo Bills running back Marshawn Lynch was arrested on February 11 and charged with felony possession of a concealed firearm.  Lynch was released on $35,000 bond.  The case will be submitted to California's District Attorney's office for for "filing consideration".

The news has been known for about 36 hours at this point, but Mike Florio at Pro Football Talk has confirmed the story.

Lynch won't have to deal with mere firearm charges, either.  As a repeat offender of the NFL's personal conduct policy, it's unlikely that Lynch will receive a reprieve from league commissioner Roger Goodell.

In May of 2008, Lynch was arrested after a Toronto woman was struck by Lynch's Porsche in downtown Buffalo.  After a full two months of speculation and legal proceedings which crawled at a snail's pace, Lynch accepted a plea deal, paid a $100 fine and surrendered his driver's license.  He did not receive punishment from the league at that time.

Lynch is coming off of his second straight 1,000-yard season and is less than a week removed from his first Pro Bowl appearance.

What happens from here?
It's hard to fathom being more disappointed in Marshawn after hearing this news.  Lynch embodies everything the city of Buffalo values in their football players when he's on the field - talent, passion and a never-say-die attitude.  But for a two-year veteran, it's pretty telling that Lynch has had two major legal issues in less than a calendar year.

Lynch will almost certainly be suspended for this most recent arrest, and honestly, he deserves whatever he gets.  At some point, the young man from Oakland needs to learn his lesson.  It's incredibly difficult for this organization to put together a winning team when they don't have to deal with off-field issues.  Lynch is already the second Bill to be arrested since the end of the 2008 season, following safety Ko Simpson's poor example.  As if Buffalo's epic 2-8 collapse last season wasn't enough to deal with.

Marshawn Lynch is still a member of this football team.  I'll still cheer for him when he's on the field.  But this behavior needs to end.  This is strike two for Buffalo's star tailback.  The plan for the team is simple: get backup running back Fred Jackson a solid extension as soon as possible, back the league's play regarding a suspension, and hope that the 22-year-old from Oakland can finally, mercifully put this behavior behind him.

Update, 2/15/09 8:16PM: The AP has a couple of tidbits to add to the situation...

Culver City police did not immediately return a phone message seeking information about why officers approached Lynch and his companions.

Lynch’s lawyer, M. Gerald Schwartzbach, said his client was not involved in a traffic incident. Schwartzbach said the player was in California to visit friends.

Update, 2/16/09 8:14AM: Allen Wilson of The Buffalo News has offered his opinions on the matter, and as usual, he's spot on.  Disappointing?  Yes.  Deserving of punishment?  Yes.  Decision to make on Marshawn's future?  Let's hold off on that one.

ESPN.com's Tim Graham asks the tough question:

When is it no longer worth the trouble, Bills fans?

My answer: Not yet, Tim.  Not yet.