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After meeting with Goodell, Bills RB Lynch expects to be suspended

  • By Associated Press
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ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Buffalo Bills running back Marshawn Lynch expects to be suspended by the NFL for his latest run-in with the law and said he has received the message that the league "won't tolerate any more screw-ups" from him.

Delivering a message of humility and repentance -- and minus the flashy gold grill he usually wears across his teeth -- Lynch vowed Wednesday that he's ready to change his ways and prepared to accept the consequences for his actions.

Marshawn Lynch , RB
Buffalo Bills

2008 Statistics
Carries: 250
Yards: 1,036
Touchdowns: 8

"It has kind of sunk in, and I felt that this was the next step to letting you guys know that there will be a change," Lynch said. "I never had the intention of getting into trouble or anything like that. But along the way, my road got rocky, and now you know it's time to set my pavement straight."

The former first-round draft pick out of the University of California held a nine-minute news conference in the Bills' practice facility one day after meeting with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in New York. The meeting was part of Goodell's review into whether to discipline Lynch for violating the league's personal-conduct policy after the running back pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge in Culver City, Calif., earlier this month.

Lynch characterized the meeting with Goodell as a wake-up call and said the commissioner's message has reached him.

"Something that he stressed throughout the meeting was that he will not tolerate any more screw-ups by me," Lynch said, noting that he expects to be suspended for the start of the regular season because this is the second time he has been in trouble with authorities.

"I honestly see a suspension coming, but that comes with the consequences," Lynch said.

Fantasy take
Marshawn Lynch finished last season with career bests in receptions (47), scrimmage yards (1,336) and total touchdowns (9). However, he could be hard-pressed to duplicate those totals in 2009 if the suspension costs him two or more games, Michael Fabiano writes. More ...

» Mailbag: Possible suspensions
will hurt value of Lynch, Marshall

Lynch said he expects a ruling to be made within 10 days.

Lynch was arrested near Los Angeles on Feb. 11. In searching a parked car carrying Lynch, Culver City police found a 9mm semiautomatic handgun inside a backpack in the trunk. Police also found four marijuana cigarettes in the car, but no drug charges were filed.

Lynch pleaded guilty to having a concealed firearm and was sentenced to 80 hours community service and three years' probation.

It was Lynch's second run-in with the law in less than a year. In June, he pleaded guilty to a traffic violation and admitted that he was behind the wheel of his sport-utility vehicle when it sped off from a downtown Buffalo intersection after striking a pedestrian, who sustained minor injuries. Lynch wasn't disciplined by the league for the accident.

"The first time was pretty much like a slap on the wrist," he said. "I feel this time it really will stick."

Aware that people might be skeptical, Lynch said the only way to prove himself is through his actions.

"I can only show you. It won't be nothing that I can say in words that'll make you out a believer," Lynch said. "You're just going to have to see for yourself."

Lynch's willingness to speak to reporters already was considered a big change in attitude. Last season, he made himself available to the media just twice, once abruptly ending a news conference and walking away after being asked about the hit-and-run accident.

Lynch was unhappy with how he was portrayed in the media following the accident. His image, though, did take a hit when he invoked his legal right by refusing to speak to authorities for two weeks until Erie County District Attorney Frank Clark issued subpoenas against Bills players and staff.

On Wednesday, Lynch described his decision to delay meeting with authorities as a mistake and said it was a reason why he prompted the meeting with Goodell.

"I know pretty much that there will be some people looking forward to me messing up again," Lynch said. "But I'm just going to let them know they shouldn't hold their breath."

Should Lynch be suspended, the Bills will be without the player who has led them in rushing and touchdowns over the past two seasons. Last year, Lynch had eight touchdowns and 1,036 yards on the ground, enough to earn him his first Pro Bowl appearance as an injury replacement.

The Bills have a solid backup in Fred Jackson, though the team has interviewed several veteran free-agent running backs over the past three weeks.

Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press


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