Raiders GM issues a soft deadline for Marshawn Lynch to make a decision

A week ago, it was reported that Marshawn Lynch had agreed to terms with the Raiders. A week later, it's all quiet on the Beast Mode front. 

The last we heard, Lynch's agent reportedly denied the report, saying there wasn't a deal in place. Lynch himself added,"When s--- get REAL I'll let you kno!!!!" So far, there's nothing to know.

It's not clear how much longer this holding pattern will continue, but on Friday, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie seemingly issued a soft deadline for a deal to come into place. He wants to know by the time the draft begins.

"At some point, you would like to know," he said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle's Vic Tafur. "Prior to the draft is that point."

That doesn't mean that the Raiders will completely move on from Lynch if he isn't on the team by next week.

Here's what needs to happen for Lynch to join the Raiders before the draft, which is scheduled to begin Thursday:

  1. Lynch agrees to terms with the Raiders.
  2. The Raiders and Seahawks work out a trade or the Seahawks release him.
  3. He officially signs with the Raiders.

But the Raiders can't wait forever, so that deadline shouldn't come as a surprise. If the Raiders aren't going to land Lynch, they might want to address running back in the draft. As it stands, after letting Latavius Murray walk on over to Minnesota in free agency, the Raiders' running back group is composed of Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington, and Taiwan Jones

Richard and Washington combined for 958 yards on 170 carries (5.64 yards per carry) last season, so they could potentially carry the load collectively, but the Raiders would likely want to add one more dependable body to the mix. That's why Lynch is a good option. 

For one, he's an Oakland icon and the team might want to give Oakland-based fans a reason to come to games before they leave for Las Vegas. And two, he's Beast Mode. According to Pro Football Focus, Lynch leads the NFL in missed tackles (by 66) since 2013 -- even though he missed all of last year.

This is where Pete Prisco would want me to point out that Lynch turns 31 Saturday and likely won't be operating at an elite level if he were to return. That's a fair point. Expecting Lynch to be at his best is foolish. 

But it's worth noting that the Raiders have two other capable backs on the roster and a dominant offensive line, which should make Lynch's life easier. Furthermore, Beast Mode is fun and the NFL is more fun with Beast Mode is in it. That's my reason for rooting for a deal to come into place.

Hopefully, something gets worked out before the draft.

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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