Michael Robinson sat down in the media work room at Seahawks headquarters Thursday and grabbed a roster. He looked through the list, not knowing some of the names but glad no one was listed next to “26″.
It’s becoming pretty clear that Robinson will not play again. His health scare at training camp last year — when he was hospitalized three times because of kidney and liver issues — forced him into a future where he could not take anti-inflammatories or else he’d risk a repeated kidney and liver problems. So, he played all of last season sore as hell.
“I still love Sundays,” Robinson said.
Robinson had multiple roles with the Seahawks: special teams captain, fullback, spiritual leader, de facto spokesperson for Marshawn Lynch.
Robinson said the latter will remain a job duty. When asked about Lynch’s reported desire to rework his contract, Robinson said Lynch has confided in him, but now was not the time to discuss it with the media. Though, Robinson went on to say this about Lynch:
“The guy has been the face of this franchise since the day he stepped in that door, it’s been Beast Mode. Just from my knowledge of it, he has been the face of the franchise. Pete (Carroll) (general manager) John (Schneider), they’ve made no qualms about saying that. And he’s (Lynch) just like ‘I just want to be paid like it.’ I think the devaluation of the (running) 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 got $3.5 million a season (Chris Johnson) doesn’t help him. But 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. 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. I’m all in for players getting their dollars, man, because you have a short life.”
Robinson was then asked if age is a factor for Lynch, who is 28.
“I don’t think it’s a factor for him. I think it’s a factor for them (the Seahawks) because 30 is this “magic” number. He leads the league in carries the last three years, but he probably has the fewest carries all through training camp and preseason. He gets his rest. So I don’t know. We’ll see.”
Robinson said if his phone rang today, he could still play. Monday through Saturday is difficult for him, however. He pointed out that only two teams — the Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers — really know him. Robinson said he was not afraid of competing for a spot, but at this point would need the right situation to play. In the past, anti-inflammatories would allow Robinson to recover from a game by Wednesday. Last year, he was not feeling good until walk-through on Saturday.
NFL players can sign retirement papers and send them in, or, if they don’t have any activity with an NFL team for a year, the player is considered retired. Robinson is letting the inactivity clock tick.
“A team would have to tell me some pretty good stuff,” Robinson said.
When it was suggested he could go on the “Marshawn Plan,” Robinson laughed. “That’s pretty enticing.”
Which leaves him as a daytime drama actor on the Young and the Restless and finalizing his options to work as an NFL analyst. Robinson said he would not be afraid to tell the truth or be critical about the Seahawks or any other team while on TV.
Funny thing about the daytime TV gig: Remember “Seahawks week” on the NFL Network after they won the Super Bowl? During that, Robinson was on all week. In one bit, called “Guilty Pleasures,” Robinson admitted liking The Young and the Restless. He said immediately afterward, his phone was rattling with tweets from The Young and Restless Twitter account inviting to come on set.
Robinson is also leveraging his increased fame to get the ear of Congresspeople back home in Virginia. He said winning the Super Bowl has boosted his platform to a point that he can get people of that ilk involved with his foundation and helping people in poverty. In essence, he’s trying to connect the decision-makers with a sect of society they may have forgotten.
He’ll be with his former teammates tonight to receive his Super Bowl ring. He said he’s just looking forward to seeing everybody.
“Before the White House a lot of the guys were at my football camp, so I got a chance to hang out,” Robinson said. “I didn’t really get a chance … guys like Robert Turbin. Just hang with him a little bit. Young back. He was my little homie when he came in the league. You know, he’s getting some adversity right now. But, like I’ve told him: Ever since I’ve been in the league, they’ve always drafted a guy at another position. They’ve always pushed another guy. You elevate your play. Do what you have to do. I’m just excited to get around those types of guys.
“James Carpenter. I heard he’s lost some weight. I can’t wait to see him, talk to him a little bit, see where his mind is. To me, he’s a guy that if he got himself together up here (points to his temple), he would be one of the most dominant guards in the National Football League. Has he got it together up here yet? I don’t know. Not from knowing what to do, but just having that dog about you. I would just want to talk to guys like that. Feel them out a bit.”
Also, Robinson said Christine Michael is “gifted,” but needs to grow up. Needs to be a better blocker in pass protection, saying he has the heart to do it. He just didn’t think Michael had been asked to do that much in his life.
“In this league, defenses are too good, coaches are too smart for you to be able to be a one-trick pony,” Robinson said.
At the White House, Robinson was pleased to see how much Michael had changed in a short period.
Robinson said he’s talked to Carroll in the past about coaching and will always talk to the guys in the Seahawks in the lockerroom, no matter what his future role is.
For now, he’ll collect his ring with his pals.