The Oakland Raiders have anchored the NFL headlines during the offseason, with two interesting stories taking priority. The first snippet of news pertained to their situation with their relocation to Las Vegas, but the second headline had to with potentially acquired retired running back Marshawn Lynch.
As the offseason progressed, it seemed as though the rumors were turning into a realistic possibility. The rumors then gained steam when it was reported that Lynch visited the Raiders’ facility in early April. It seemed as though the situation turned from a matter of ‘if’, to ‘how soon’.
The major huddle in this potential transaction was that the Seattle Seahawks still held the rights to Lynch. ‘Beast Mode’ still had two years remaining on his contract with the Seahawks, with a $9 million dollar payout for the 2017 season. If Lynch wanted to return to the NFL and the Raiders, the Seahawks and Raiders would have to work a deal out.
After some negotiations, it seems as though the both teams have the parameters lined up for a potential trade, with the hold up now involving contract negotiations for Lynch and the Raiders. According to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle, the final detail is coming down to a dispute over $1.5 million dollars:
Marshawn Lynch's Seattle deal would pay him $9 mi in 2017. Raiders want to pay him 1/3 that while Lynch is balking at taking less than half.
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) April 21, 2017
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie and the Raiders front office seem dead set on paying him around a salary of $3 million per season. However, Lynch feels that his proper value is sat at about half his asking price since his two years of retirement.
It is important to note that Lynch’s deal will surely be filled with incentives in the contract, which will pay him with bonuses based on his production during the season. The current figures relate towards the base salary, with his pay expected to increase a few million if he exceeds expectations.
Both sides seem to want to make this deal happen, but have a bit more work to settle on before we hear of an official deal from Lynch himself. He posted his thoughts on the situation after news leaked of an agreed upon deal. The previous rumors stated that their deadline for a deal is the NFL Draft, with the Raiders not wanting to waste an opportunity on a class with plenty of running back depth.
Head coach Jack Del Rio stated that Lynch appeared to have fresh legs during their meeting, a sign hinting at the potential damage he could cause behind the Raiders offensive line. The Oakland native will surely have a chance to shine in 2017, with Oakland fans hoping for a championship in one of their final two seasons.