Walking on Thin Ice

Marshawn Lynch must come clean and tell the police what happened. He's already been pinpointed as the driver. It's time for the details.

It's been more than a week since Buffalo Police started investigating a hit-and-run accident involving Bills' running back Marshawn Lynch's Porsche SUV. Thus far, all the evidence is pointing toward Lynch being the driver, and he has yet to speak with authorities about what he was doing on that early Saturday morning. This poses a big problem for the Bills who don't exactly need more distractions during their preparations for a playoff run in the fall.

Lynch's involvement in the case started when it was identified that the SUV, which hit a woman in the entertainment district of downtown Buffalo, was registered in his name. As new details surfaced, and witnesses came forward, investigators now believe that Lynch was in fact behind the wheel at the time of the accident, and that there were more unidentified passengers in the vehicle. Also, the vehicle involved in the accident was found parked outside Lynch's home the next day, when authorities tried to reach the running back for questioning.

With the evidence piling up against him, Lynch has yet to cooperate with police in their investigation. His lawyer will obviously be handling all statements related to the case, and they have been few and non-informative. Buffalo District Attorney Frank Clark has said Lynch could be charged with a Class-A misdemeanor as early as this week if he fails to cooperate with police, and that could spell trouble for Lynch and the Bills.

Possible punishments for this type of charge include a maximum one-year prison sentence, which opens a whole box of problems for Lynch. Aside from possible prison time, Lynch could face punishments imposed by the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell, who has been cracking down on law-breaking players. If charges are filed, Lynch could also possibly be barred from crossing the border for two games that the Bills will play in Toronto this season. Bottom line is, if charged, Lynch could be out of commission for the Bills for several games this season, and this is not good for a team that relied heavily on its running back last season.

Lynch, the Bills first round draft choice last season, recorded 1,115 yards on 280 attempts, and seven touchdowns in his rookie year. He was eighth in the league in rushing, and an absolute asset to the Bills' success. His importance to the team carries over to this season, where there are high expectations for the young Bills team to make a much-needed playoff push. The team revamped its front office and defense in the off-season, and fans are looking for them to build on their 7-9 record from last season.

Lynch has the potential to become one of the league's best running backs, and he owes it to himself, and his team to come clean about the accident. By coming forward and cooperating with police, Lynch could significantly reduce the punishments he'll receive for the incident. Having as little impact as possible on the Bills' upcoming training camp and season is very important, as the Bills are already dealing with several distractions that could derail their playoff hopes.

Just last month, second-round draft choice James Hardy was involved in an incident involving drawing a gun on his father. Jason Peters, the team's only Pro Bowler last season, is on the verge of a holdout for a new contract. Quarterback J.P. Losman is also unhappy with his benching last season and could potentially be a distraction in the locker room. The list does not need to get longer for the Bills, and Lynch can prevent this.

Hopefully Marv Levy and his staff were right when they picked Lynch last season, not only for his promising talent but also for his character. Lynch is a very family-orientated guy, and hopefully he considers his teammates his family. The last thing Buffalo needs is another fallen football star that dashes their championship dreams. So, Marshawn, speak up and help the authorities, help yourself, and help your team.

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