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Richard Sherman, Doug Baldwin dig at NFL in press conference

Seattle’s Richard Sherman, right, solicits laughs with Doug Baldwin cardboard cutout on Tuesday. (Associated Press)
Seattle’s Richard Sherman, right, solicits laughs with Doug Baldwin cardboard cutout on Tuesday. (Associated Press)
By Tim Booth Associated Press

RENTON, Wash. – With the help of a cardboard cutout, the Seattle Seahawks’ Richard Sherman and Doug Baldwin took digs at the NFL during a news conference on Tuesday after the league issued a $100,000 fine to teammate Marshawn Lynch for not speaking to the media.

Sherman and Baldwin made mention of everything from the league’s sponsorship deals with major beer companies to their personal endorsements that are not affiliated with the NFL, to the talk of player safety with the Seahawks about to play their second game in five days.

The point of their performance seemed to be that whatever they said – real or satirical – it would not be a violation of the league’s media policy with reporters.

“The other day Marshawn Lynch got fined $100,000. Did you know that, $100,000?” Sherman said. “And it’s like they wouldn’t have paid him $100,000 if he had talked. If he had spoken, Doug do you think they would have paid him $100,000?”

Baldwin responded, “No, they sure wouldn’t have.”

The duo spoke for about 2 1/2 minutes ahead of Thursday’s NFC Championship game rematch against San Francisco. Baldwin hid behind a cutout of himself, with Sherman standing to the side of the podium.

Sherman took only one question, and after the pair referenced a number of personal sponsors – many of which are not NFL sponsors – walked off without speaking about the 49ers game.

“It’s fun to use your time in the NFL to speak about something you care about, right? Right?” Sherman said in his back-and-forth with Baldwin. “Because then you don’t get fined $100,000. You don’t get fined at all for this. This is how they want us to talk, right? This is what they want us to do. They want us to advertise, right Doug?”

Their targets were wide ranging, including headphones, soup, clothing, sandwiches and juice. The cardboard cutout of Baldwin was actually an advertisement that’s also on display at Subway restaurants in the Seattle area.

Sherman mentioned his endorsement deal with Beats by Dre. The league has an agreement with Bose.

The league has told players they cannot wear unauthorized equipment until 90 minutes after the completion of games.

“The league doesn’t let me say anything about them. Why is that?” Sherman asked.

Baldwin’s response: “I don’t know. Sounds kind of hypocritical to me.”

Sherman made note of Campbell’s Soup and how it could be helpful with cold and flu season approaching.

“Speaking of health, how do you feel about the NFL making you play two games in five days?” Baldwin asked.

“I almost didn’t realize that because they’ve been talking about player safety so much,” Sherman responded. “It’s a little bit much for me.”

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