The beginning of March was a turning period in the NFL offseason, as it signaled the beginning of the NFL free agency period. Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie understood that team was looking for defensive bargains, but surely wasn’t expecting the ensuing running back situation.
Former Raiders running back Latavius Murray elected to join the Minnesota Vikings during the NFL offseason, shaking up the depth chart for head coach Jack Del Rio. However, there have been two star running backs that have been recently linked to the organization.
Firstly, free agent running back Adrian Peterson has certainly taken his time reaching a decision during free agency. He has visited countless teams during this process, in order to properly evaluate his situations. Peterson stated that his main concern was finding a competing team, in order to capture the elusive Lombardi trophy.
Peterson did conduct a visit with the Raiders during March, understanding his potential place behind one of the best offensive lines in the NFL. According to Eddie Borsilli of the Movin The Chains, the Raiders are actually Peterson’s preferred landing spot, but the organization is focusing on another legendary running back:
Source: Adrian Peterson's desired destination is the Raiders but they're locked in on acquiring Marshawn Lynch, right now.
— Eddie Borsilli (@Borsilli) April 3, 2017
Although retired, Marshawn Lynch has been heavily linked to the Raiders during the offseason. The Raiders have been strongly considering signing Lynch since the middle of March, while Lynch is currently entertaining the idea.
The situation regarding Lynch is a bit trickier, considering he retired while under contract with the Seattle Seahawks. He has two years remaining on that deal if he were to come out of retirement, counting as $9 million towards the 2017 salary cap.
If he were to declare his intentions to come back to the NFL, he would automatically count towards the Seahawks roster, meaning Seattle would have to release him or trade him should they not want him on the roster.
With Peterson more concerned about competing in the NFL, it remains to be seen if he would drop his annual salary towards the $9 million ballpark. While both running backs are considered to be out of their prime, they would both provide veteran leadership behind the likes of DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard.
Peterson and Lynch would both be welcomed sights for the Raiders fans, to solidify the offensive unit alongside Derek Carr, the receiving core and the explosive wide receivers.