Marshawn Lynch, right, a former NFL football running back with the Seattle Seahawks greets Sheri Schultz, left, the wife of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, Thursday, May 5, 2016, before he spoke at a job fair in Seattle sponsored by the 100,000 Opportunities Initiative, an organization backed by Starbucks and other companies that seeks to increase employment and education opportunities for youth aged 16-24. The Seahawks announced Thursday that Lynch has been placed on the reserve/retired list. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
Sports Radio Service Writer
OAKLAND — “Beast Mode” back on the football field?
Almost a done deal.
NFL Network’s Michael Silver and Mike Garafolo reported Friday that Marshawn Lynch is nearing a new contract agreement with the 30-year-old running back.
But before Lynch can officially play for his hometown Raiders, Seattle must trade Lynch as they still hold his rights as he retired after the Seahawks’ Super Bowl 50 loss to the New England Patriots at the end of the 2014 season.
Sources close to the situation told Garafolo that Oakland and Seattle are optimistic that a deal can be struck, the two sides have yet to engage in trade talks for one of the NFL’s most punishing running backs when healthy.
Lynch sat out all of 2016 after an injury-filled 2015 (where he dealt with hamstrings/hernia injuries) but has been durable for the majority of his nine-year career. Three years removed from a Super Bowl championship (a season that Lynch rushed for 1,204 yards and 12 touchdowns), it’s fair to ask how much football does the former Oakland Tecbnical High School product have left?
The rumors have been swirling for weeks that Lynch was itching to resurrect his career and Oakland was his preferred choice, not Seattle. Lynch took to Twitter to clear the air of those rumors:
“If u kno me you kno my business is my business,” Lynch tweeted, “and if u don’t kno me that’s a fun fact for ya… when (expletive) get REAL I’ll let you kno!!!!”
Oakland, who have second-year running backs Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington slated to share the load in the backfield after letting starter Latavius Murray (and his 12 rushing touchdowns) depart for Minnesota via free agency, may believe Lynch is an upgrade and will add more bite to a deep running back corps.
NFL Network’s Steve Wyche noted that he was in Alameda this week and sources told him that one possible sticking point in a deal coming together between Oakland and Lynch, would be the compensation that Oakland would need to give Lynch. Wyche got indication that Oakland really wants to get a deal done and see Lynch as a key piece to a potential Super Bowl participant this season, but want some assurances from Lynch before the NFL Draft on Apr. 27.
According to Spotrac.com, Oakland is sixth in the NFL with roughly $33 million in salary cap space and have key core players who are up for hefty extensions, most notably quarterback Derek Carr and defensive end Khalil Mack.
Wyche was adamant that the Raiders didn’t want to dip to heavy into that cash to overpay for Lynch. Sources told Wyche that Oakland wants to, “take care of the horses.”
Carr and Mack are two of the Raiders’ biggest “horses” who’ve earned new contracts.
Should Lynch and the Raiders come to an agreement, it would give the Silver & Black some much needed great news, in wake of the organization’s announcement to relocate to the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas in the next two years.