Marshawn Lynch will reportedly stick with Raiders despite Doug Martin signing

Beast Mode won't be a one-season wonder in Oakland. Despite signing veteran running back Doug Martin on Thursday, the Raiders don't appear to be interested in moving on from Marshawn Lynch, according to several reports. 

On Thursday, NFL Network's Mike Silver reported that "the Raiders have no plans to part ways" with Lynch. On Saturday, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported that Lynch, who will get a $1 million bonus on Sunday, will remain with the Raiders as "their feature back." Two reporters who cover the Raiders, Vic Tafur of The Athletic and Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, confirmed Rapoport's report, with Gehlken adding that the Raiders "chose to build around Lynch for 2018." 

All of these reports came after new Raiders coach Jon Gruden said at the NFL combine that he was "counting on" Lynch.

"Looking at the film and a game that I broadcasted on Christmas night, there's no question he's still a beast that's hard to bring down" Gruden said at the time, via NFL Network. "One of the reasons I'm excited to be with the Raiders is to join forces with Lynch. But we'll see what happens. Obviously, we've got to take a look at the entire roster. But I'm counting on him. I'm counting on him being a big part of our football team."

So, there you have it. Every indication is that Lynch will return. Really the only reason his status was called into question was because of the signing of Martin on Thursday. It's not that Martin and Lynch can't co-exist on the same roster, it's just that the Raiders now have a starting running back who will turn 32 next month and a 29-year-old backup to go along with their new 32-year-old receiver, Jordy Nelson, who will turn 33 in May.

It's the soon-to-be 32-year-old who offers the Raiders the most promise heading into the 2018 season. After a rough start to the 2017 season, Lynch totaled 697 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns while averaging 4.65 yards per carry over his final 10 games. He finished with 891 rushing yards (4.3 YPC) and seven touchdowns in 15 games, posting the fourth-best elusive rating in football with 50 missed tackles, according to Pro Football Focus.

Martin, meanwhile, really hasn't ever matched his production since 1,402-yard season in 2015. Over the past two seasons in Tampa Bay, Martin rushed for 827 yards while averaging 2.9 yards per carry. 

Both players are set to become free agents following the 2018 season. It'll be the Beast Mode and Muscle Hamster show in 2018, but the Raiders will need to address their long-term future at the running back position at some point soon.

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

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