The Oakland Raiders understood their goals going into the offseason, but were also hit by a surprise free agent at a position that lost depth during the offseason. While Reggie McKenzie was focused on getting defensive bargains and owner Mark Davis was dealing with the relocation to Las Vegas, Marshawn Lynch emerged with an interest in joining his hometown Raiders.
During the initial free agent frenzy, rumors surfaced stating that both sides had interest in one another, but nothing could be done until Lynch would file paperwork to come out of retirement. However, if Lynch were to come out of retirement, he still was involved in a two-year deal with the Seattle Seahawks.
The rumors then hit a serious note when Lynch decided to visit the Raiders’ facility, formally meeting with head coach Jack Del Rio and the coaching staff. That introduction seemed to be the final hurdle in pushing Lynch towards coming out of retirement.
After taking some time to decide between his options, it seems Lynch is headed towards returning to the NFL, via ESPN’s Ed Werder:
Source: Marshawn Lynch has begun NFL reinstatement process, hoping to play for #Raiders or could team with Richard Sherman if CB traded.
— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) April 13, 2017
When Lynch initially decided to retire after the 2014 season, he cited the beating his body was taking during his physical style of play. Although Lynch seemed to enjoy himself during his retirement with various Skittles related adventures, he also started to miss the game that he loved.
After getting two years of rest from the NFL, while also staying in that beast mode shape, it appears as though Lynch is ready to return to his hometown team. With Lynch set to rejoin the Seahawks, the last hurdle will be finalizing a trade between the Raiders and Seahawks so that both parties are happy.
Lynch would currently be a $9 million cap hit to the Raiders, a team with a running back vacancy after the departure of Latavius Murray. The Oakland native would not only be a welcomed sight to the Raiders, but also to the fan base still dealing with the Las Vegas decision.
With all the pieces now in motion, it seems like the final decision relies between the discussions of McKenzie and Seahawks general manager John Schneider. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, a reworked contract must first be agreed to:
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 13, 2017
The Seahawks also spoke to Lynch during the offseason, gauging whether or not Lynch was serious about a possible return. During that time, Schneider stated that he would be open to discussing a possible trade, citing the great relationship he has with McKenzie.
Once the NFL officially permits Lynch back, it should only be a matter of time before Lynch joins the silver and black.