NFL to Seahawk Lynch: Keep talking or fine will double

NFL to Seahawk Lynch: Keep talking or fine will double
Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch stretches before an NFL football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
SEATTLE - Seahawks' running back Marshawn Lynch says he won't have to pay the NFL a $50,000 fine for failing to speak to the media. However, an NFL beat writer says the fine is merely suspended and could get even worse if Lynch doesn't keep talking.

The NFL league office levied the fine after learning Lynch had declined to address reporters at team news conferences during the regular season. Typically, NFL players are contractually obligated to meet the press.

Lynch did speak to the media the week after he was fined.

Fan outrage over the fine sparked an online fundraiser that generated thousands of dollars in pledges.

The star running back wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday that he had appealed the fine to the league and won.

But ESPN Seahawks reporter Terry Blount says that's not quite true. Blount says the fine is merely suspended, and that the NFL hammer comes down even harder if Lynch stops talking during the current playoff run.

"I would say what they're doing is putting him on probation," Blount said on ESPN Headlines. "Not only will the $50,000 fine be reinstated (if Lynch stops talking), but they will double it to $100,000 for each week that he doesn't talk."

Soon after the fine was announced, outraged fans calling themselves "12th Man for Marshawn Lynch" launched an online appeal for donations to pay off the fine. The effort on the crowd-funding web site gofundme.com raised nearly $15,000 from more than 600 fans in just one day, and had reached nearly $19,000 by Thursday morning.

Lynch, who is making $7 million this year, had promised to match all funds raised and donate the amount to a Seattle charity. If fans fail to reach the $50,000 goal by Jan. 19, the fundraiser is canceled and no money will be collected. But Lynch tells fans even though the fine is no longer in play, he will still match the funds.

Lynch wrote on his Facebook page "After the (GoFundme.com) deadline, even if $50k isn't met & all contributions are given back, I'll donate the matched total # anyway."