NFL warns Lynch, Hawks of penalty for gesture

While busy investigating the New England Patriots and the so-called Deflategate ball controversy, the NFL also informed the Seahawks Saturday that a 15-yard penalty will be called on star running back Marshawn Lynch should he make an obscene gesture during the Super Bowl.

The NFL has informed the Seahawks and star running back Marshawn Lynch that the club will face a 15-yard penalty for an obscene gesture should he grab his crotch in celebration during the Super Bowl.

The penalty would push Steven Hauschka's kickoff back from the 35-yard line to the 20, giving New England not only 15 yards but a much greater opportunity to return a kick for even more yardage.

There is also the risk to Lynch's bank account. The NFL fined Lynch $20,000 for this maneuver following Sunday's overtime thriller over the Packers in the NFC Championship.

The NFL's vice president of officiating, Dean Blandino, told ESPN of the league's decision on Saturday.

Lynch has made the flying crotch grab something of a tradition in recent weeks, perhaps signaling not only his joy at scoring touchdowns that helped the Seahawks defeat Carolina and Green Bay on their way back to the Super Bowl but also perhaps in showing his displeasure with the NFL's and some of its rules.

Among the games in which Lynch made the gesture this season was his last performance at the University of Phoenix Stadium, during the Seahawks' 35-6 dismantling of the Arizona Cardinals December 22.

Some have speculated that Lynch would perform the maneuver regardless of what financial penalty the league might impose on him. Penalizing the team, however, is not likely to be something that Lynch would risk. For all of Lynch's unique personality quirks, he might be the most respected player in Seattle's locker room for his toughness and commitment to teammates.

That said, don't put it past the ever-creative Lynch to come up with another, perhaps tamer way of celebrating should he be fortunate to score a touchdown in the Super Bowl. Top Stories