Buffalo Bills running back Marshawn Lynch will meet Tuesday with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell in New York to discuss Lynch's arrest last month -- the second time in nine months he has been involved with the law.
|Marshawn Lynch pleaded guilty earlier this month to a misdemeanor gun charge. (Getty Images)|
Any decision, however, will not take place until after Goodell sits down to interview the running back and allows him to defend himself.
Lynch is expected to be accompanied by lawyers, as well as by members of the Buffalo Bills. It is not anticipated that the Bills will take action against the two-year veteran, no matter what Goodell's findings are in the wake of Tuesday's hearing.
Lynch earlier this month pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor gun charge stemming from a Feb. 11 arrest in Culver City, Calif. According to the police report, Lynch was one of three men seated in a parked Mercedes Benz when he was questioned.
At the time, he was charged with possession of a concealed firearm. But the felony gun charge later was reduced to three misdemeanors -- with two of them dropped. Lynch was sentenced to three years of probation and 80 hours of community service.
He also agreed to submit to police searches at any time.
"I have made mistakes in the past," Lynch said in a statement issued then. "Although I have learned many lessons over recent years, I obviously had not learned enough."
A source close to Lynch said the situation was "not as it was portrayed," and that Lynch will try to communicate that to Goodell. However, it is his second brush with the law in a year, and Goodell's history is that he is not lenient with repeat offenders.
A year ago Lynch's luxury SUV struck a woman in the streets of Buffalo before speeding away. Lynch did not face criminal charges because the woman's injuries were minor (She sustained a bruised hip and a cut to her thigh that required seven stitches), but, in a plea agreement, he paid a $100 fine and his driver's license and car registration were revoked.
Lynch also was the target of a drive-by shooting in 2006 as he was about to enter his junior season at the University of California. Authorities later determined that Lynch -- who was attacked outside his high school alma mater during his sister's graduation day -- was the victim of mistaken identity.
Nevertheless, there is a pattern of behavior that Goodell will consider, with the commissioner taking tough stands two years ago after multiple offenses involving former Tennessee and Dallas defensive back Pacman Jones and Cincinnati wide receiver Chris Henry.
Like Lynch, Jones and Henry each met with Goodell to explain their situations. Unlike Lynch, they had a string of runs-ins with the law, with the commissioner suspending Jones the entire 2007 season and Henry eight games that year.
"We must protect the integrity of the NFL," Goodell said then. "The highest standards of conduct must be met by everyone in the NFL because it is a privilege to represent the NFL, not a right. These players, and all members of our league, have to make the right choices and decisions in their conduct on a consistent basis."
Lynch was Buffalo's leading rusher the past two seasons, with the former first-round pick rushing for 1,036 yards in 2008 and scoring a team-best nine touchdowns. He also had 47 catches, third-best on the team, and attended his first Pro Bowl where he ran for a game-high 48 yards.