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Minicamp starts; Lynch not on field

UPDATED: The Bills held the first of two practices today on their grass field and running back Marshawn Lynch was not in attendance. The Bills this afternoon confirmed that Lynch was at the One Bills Drive complex Wednesday and Thursday and lifted weights. However, Lynch still is not on the field. 

This weekend's three-day minicamp is voluntary, and it's an extra session that's granted to the Bills because they have a new coaching staff. Lynch gave two interviews in the past two weeks in which he said he'd be showing up with his teammates. Running back Fred Jackson, who has been at all of the workouts so far, was not at the practice. Defensive end Aaron Schobel, who is not expected this spring, if ever, also was absent. Tight end Shawn Nelson, who had missed practices earlier this week, was working on the field. The Bills will hold their lone mandatory minicamp in three weeks.

If Lynch still is holding out hope for a trade to Seattle, it still looks like wishful thinking. The Seahawks, of course, cut big-back LenDale White last week. But the Seahawks don't have a third-round pick in next year's draft. They gave it to San Diego to acquire quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. If the Bills wouldn't accept a fourth-round pick for Lynch right before the draft, which was the optimal time to trade him, it's hard to imagine them doing it now. Lynch's best hope for a ticket out of Buffalo would be for some star back to go down with a major injury in preseason, thereby prompting a desperation call to the Bills.

---Mark Gaughan

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