Turns out Seattle running back Marshawn Lynch had some hefty motivation for briefly holding court with reporters Friday, his first session with the media this season.
A league source confirmed an earlier ESPN report that Lynch was fined $50,000 last week for not speaking to the media.
NFL spokesman Randall Liu said in an email to USA Today that “until this past week, the league had been unaware that Lynch had not been speaking.”
Standard NFL contracts require that players talk to the media, stating: “Player will cooperate with the news media, and will participate upon request in reasonable activities to promote the Club and the League.”
Players are generally expected to speak after games, as well as be available at least once a week during the season.
Minnesota’s Randy Moss was fined $25,000 in 2010 when he didn’t speak to the media for three weeks.
Before Friday, Lynch had not spoken to the media at-large since a loss to Miami on Nov. 25, 2012.
Friday, he answered nine questions, keeping most of his answers brief, before saying thanks and ending the interview after 1 minute, 23 seconds.
The fine comes with Seattle now in the playoffs, which will mean more media attention as well increased requests for players to participate in some of the NFL’s formal postseason media opportunities.