Paxton Lynch was made available to the media on Aug. 2 following the Seattle Seahawks‘ seventh training camp practice, an appearance punctuated by subtly sour grapes toward his previous employer, the Denver Broncos.
Lynch, the 2016 first-round draft pick unceremoniously dumped by Denver last September, opened his presser by laying breadcrumbs that form a trail from the Mile High City to the Emerald City.
“Whenever I came here to Seattle from my workout and got a chance to talk to the guys, talk to [offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer], talk to [head coach Pete Carroll] and [quarterbacks coach Dave Canales], I really liked it,” he said. “I really liked the culture here, I really liked the atmosphere here. I heard a lot of good things about this program and the culture here from other guys I talked to.”
Lynch was released at final cuts following an unimpressive preseason in which he was overtaken by then-hot-shot quarterback Chad Kelly. He spent the year out of football, “sitting on the couch watching games,” his once-bright future turning bleak.
Then, in January, came a break: The Seahawks signed Lynch to a reserve/futures contract.
Not long after, Lynch — and those closest to him — noticed the glaring difference between Seattle and Denver.
“It feels closer, it feels like a family,” he told reporters. “I bring my fiance out here, I bring my dad out here, and they even say it, too. They feel so much more welcome around everybody; they treat them so good. They treat the players good. It feels like you’re part of a family. It feels like everybody’s close.”
Lynch Nearing Salvation?
As soon as I got to his podium at the NFL Scouting Combine this past February, the predominant question that entered my mind, for whatever reason, was why Carroll would want to squeeze blood from the rock — or attempt to, anyway.
So I asked. And got a question in return.
“Have you seen him?” Carroll responded, rhetorically. “He’s really tall and he can throw the ball a ton and runs around well. He was a No. 1 pick for obvious reasons. At this point, it’s about potential. But he’s got some great aspects to his background. He’s got some NFL experience; it wasn’t all great, but it was still experience and that’ll help him. We’re excited to add him to the competition to see what he brings.”
As of this writing, Lynch is locked in a battle with another draft bust, ex-Jets starter Geno Smith, for the right to back up Russell Wilson.
Ironically enough, Lynch’s first live action in a Seahawks uniform will come against the very same Broncos who kicked him to the curb. The teams are slated to square off Thursday at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.
While the game technically counts for nothing, it likely holds significant importance for Lynch, who gets a prime chance to stick it to general manager John Elway.
Hey, it’s the small victories …
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter @KelbermanNFL.