Marshawn Lynch visits Raiders; source says deal 'eventually will happen'

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Retired Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch visited his hometown Oakland Raiders on Wednesday, and an NFL source told ESPN's Adam Schefter that a deal between the team and Lynch "eventually will happen."

Former NFL punter Pat McAfee first reported the meeting for Barstool Sports. The Seahawks, who still retain Lynch's rights, granted permission for the visit, a source told ESPN's Sheil Kapadia, confirming multiple reports.

Seahawks general manager John Schneider, asked about the situation during an appearance on 710 ESPN Seattle on Wednesday, confirmed the Seahawks and Raiders have had talks over Lynch.

"I have a great relationship with Reggie McKenzie, who is the general manager of the Raiders. I shared an office with him for probably eight years [with the Green Bay Packers]. We've had dialogue about it," Schneider said.

"Marshawn is trying to figure things out, the Raiders are trying to figure things out. My understanding is that if he would want to come back and play, that it would be for the Raiders and that'd be about it."

Schneider was in the Packers' front office when quarterback Brett Favre changed his mind about retirement and was traded to the New York Jets. He said he is leaning on that experience in the Lynch talks.

"You're talking about guys are highly, highly popular football players in the National Football League," Schneider said. "As an organization there's that balance. You have to do the right thing by the organization first and the player second."

Asked about the process of deciding whether to release Lynch or hold out for trade compensation, Schneider said, "It's one that will go in a smooth manner because of our relationship."

Lynch will turn 31 on April 22. He has rushed for 9,112 yards and 74 touchdowns in nine NFL seasons, though injury limited him to seven games in 2015, when he averaged 3.8 yards per carry. He last played on Jan. 17, 2016, in a postseason loss to the Carolina Panthers.

The Raiders are in need of a big lead back after Latavius Murray was allowed to leave for the Minnesota Vikings in free agency. Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington, both 5-foot-8, are entering their second seasons. Lynch is 5-foot-11.

Should Lynch come out of retirement, he is in line for a salary-cap hit of $9 million in 2017 and a base salary of $7 million in 2018. The Raiders are unlikely to part with draft picks for Lynch in a trade or to take on that salary. Oakland currently has just over $27.6 million in cap space and wants to extend quarterback Derek Carr, edge rusher Khalil Mack and right guard Gabe Jackson.

The Raiders would prefer Lynch is cut by the Seahawks so a new, cheaper contract could be discussed. Plus, they would want to do their due diligence on him to see if Lynch would fit into their system as well as their locker room, hence Wednesday's visit.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said last week at the owners meetings that he met with Lynch recently and discussed the idea of returning to the NFL.

"I know that he is somewhat entertaining the thought of it," Carroll said. "I can't tell you how strong it is. You've got to talk to him."

Carroll was asked whether Lynch could still be effective.

"I don't know," he said. "It depends on how he's approached this offseason. He looked OK. The mentality that it takes to play this game the way he plays this game, he has to really be invested and ready because he goes deep when he plays. Whether or not that's still in him, the burn is still there, I couldn't tell that from talking to him. I know that he was playing with the idea."

Marshawn Lynch could be lining up a return to the NFL. AP Photo/John Froschauer



Next step to a return? Marshawn Lynch visits Raiders facilities

The Oakland Raiders haven’t been in hot pursuit of any free-agent running backs this offseason, despite what appears to be a need at the position.

Perhaps they figure Marshawn Lynch will join them at some point.

The retired Seattle Seahawks great visited the Raiders’ facilities on Wednesday, former Indianapolis Colts punter and current Barstool Sports personality Pat McAfee first reported. Bill Williamson of All22.com said according to a league source the Seahawks granted permission for the visit – they still hold Lynch’s rights – which probably shows the Seahawks are not going to stand in the way of Lynch’s return. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said that Lynch told the Raiders he’d like to play again.

If we assume the Seahawks and Raiders could work something out (or the Seahawks cut Lynch), the Raiders and Lynch are a fun fit. The Raiders are on the verge of being perhaps the strongest contender to the New England Patriots in the AFC, and Lynch could be an important part of that. It’s also worth noting that, as questions are raised about Adrian Peterson and what he has left, the same questions should apply to Lynch. Lynch will be 31 next season, has taken a year off and he was uncharacteristically hurt and mostly ineffective in his last Seahawks season. Even if Lynch does come back to the Raiders, it’s far from a guarantee he’ll be the dominating back we all remember.

It would be an all-time great story if Lynch comes out of retirement to help lead his hometown Raiders to a Super Bowl shortly before they move to Las Vegas. Wednesday’s visit looks like a significant step toward Lynch’s return becoming a reality.


Marshawn Lynch tells Raiders he intends to 'un-retire'

Someone will have to get Beast Mode's cleats down from the phone wire.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday that Marshawn Lynch told the Oakland Raiders he intends to un-retire, per a source informed of the situation.

The news comes as Lynch met at the Raiders facility with coach Jack Del Rio. Rapoport previously reported that if Del Rio signs off on Lynch, it could lead to a comeback.

Lynch's desire to join his hometown team in Oakland is merely the first stage of the process. The running back's contract is still held by the Seattle Seahawks, who would have to release Lynch or work out a trade with the Raiders.

Speaking on KIRO-AM in Seattle on Wednesday, Seahawks general manager John Schneider said moving Lynch to Oakland would go "in a smooth manner," due to his relationship with Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie, via the Seattle Times' Bob Condotta. Schneider added that Lynch would only want to return to play for the Raiders.

Beast Mode's connection to Oakland is deep, so it's understandable why the 30-year-old running back would want play for the Raiders.

For Oakland, adding Lynch would be a perfect fit. The Raiders lack a power back of Lynch's caliber after letting Latavius Murray walk in free agency. Pairing Lynch with jitterbugs DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard would complete Oakland's backfield. With the running back trio, franchise quarterback Derek Carr on pace to return from injury and Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree catching passes, the Raiders would own an offense to make a Super Bowl run.

The caveat to the pairing would be Lynch's ability to remain healthy after taking a year away from the NFL. In 2015, the bulldozing back missed nine games due to injury.

There are still several hurdles to leap before Lynch lands in Oakland, but Beast Mode's desire to return is a big first step.

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