Marshawn Lynch is from Oakland, attended Cal, frequently flew from Seattle to Oakland when he was a member of the Seahawks and has called Oakland his home since he retired just over a year ago. So, it wasnât a long drive or bike ride for Lynch when he reportedly visited the Raiders on Wednesday.
Thatâs right -- as first reported by Barstool Sportsâ (and former Colts punter) Pat McAfee, Lynch visited the Raiders on Wednesday. NFL.comâs Ian Rapoport and ESPNâs Adam Schefter confirmed McAfeeâs report. According to Rapoport, the Seahawks OKâd Lynchâs visit and Jack Del Rio just needs to sign off. Schefter added that a source told him, âit will happen.â
And then thereâs this: According to Rapoport, Lynch informed the Raiders that heâs going to end his retirement.
When Lynch does un-retire, he will be under contract with the Seahawks, who have moved on to Eddie Lacy. So Lynch would need the Seahawks to either release him or trade him to Oakland. On Wednesday, Seahawks general manager John Schneider weighed in:
John Schneider says on @710Seattle move of Lynch to Raiders would go "in a smooth manner'' cuz of relationship with Reggie McKenzie.— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) April 5, 2017
Schneider reiterates Lynch would only want to return to play for Raiders. Says both Lynch and Raiders "trying to figure things out.''— Bob Condotta (@bcondotta) April 5, 2017
Despite Schneiderâs desire to be compensated for Lynch, a release appears to be the likelier option. ESPNâs Sheil Kapadia recently explained why:
The Seahawks could say that theyâre not going to release Lynch. But then what happens? He shows up to the team facility? They put on a charade and pretend that theyâre willing to keep him on the roster?
Keep in mind that going this route would mean Lynchâs $9 million being added to their salary cap. The Seahawks currently have under $15 million in cap space. They are still looking at free-agent options and need space to sign their draft picks.
In other words, it would seem pretty easy for the Raiders to be patient and call the Seahawksâ bluff.
That $15 million in cap space has since shrunk. Spotrac lists the Seahawksâ cap number at $5.1 million, including their top 51 contracts and projected draft pool.
So, the Raiders and Lynch are most likely discussing (among football items) a fair contract. Lynch, who will turn 31 later this month, struggled in his final season with the Seahawks. But heâs also an Oakland icon and was one of the best running backs in the game at his peak. He likely wouldnât get that $9 million, but he isnât playing for free, either.
If all goes well and Lynch winds up on the Raiders, it would be an awesome development for Oakland fans. Though the city is losing the Raiders to Las Vegas at some point in the near future, getting to watch Lynch play for the Raiders in Oakland for the remaining years would be the perfect way to say goodbye.
It also makes sense from a football perspective. The Raiders need a running back after losing Latavius Murray in free agency and they boast a dominant offensive line that Lynch could thrive behind. Last month, Peter King of MMQB.com reported that Lynch âreally wantsâ to play for the Raiders.
Plus, we all miss watching Beast Mode run through feeble tackle attempts. That alone is enough of a reason for Lynch to come back, right?