Marshawn Lynch is apparently getting closer to a contract agreement with the Oakland Raiders, though reports said the two sides haven’t gotten a deal done yet.
NFL Media’s Michael Silver said on Friday afternoon Lynch and the Raiders had agreed to a deal. Later Friday afternoon NFL Network’s Michael Robinson, who was Lynch’s teammate in Seattle, and Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal said that no agreement has been reached. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport said there is “optimism” a deal gets done.
That’s all well and good if Lynch will agree to a deal with Oakland, but the Seattle Seahawks still hold his rights.
Nobody expects that the Seahawks will hold up Lynch’s return if he and the Raiders come to terms. Nor has anyone indicated that the Seahawks want Lynch to play for them if he returns. The Seahawks gave Lynch permission to visit the Raiders’ facilities this month. Seattle has Eddie Lacy, Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise at running back, and Lynch would have a reported $9 million cap hit to the Seahawks this season. They don’t appear to be in a position to absorb that.
So the next step after a reworked contract is working out a trade. One would assume the Seahawks aren’t asking much, and the Raiders will be happy to pay a small price to finish the transaction and get a back of Lynch’s stature. Because of that cap hit, the Seahawks don’t have much leverage; if the Raiders refused to trade, the Seahawks would probably have to cut Lynch anyway. The Raiders lost last year’s starting running back Latavius Murray to free agency and didn’t do much to replace him, probably because they were counting on Lynch joining them.
Even though there are still hurdles to be crossed, the Raiders should probably assume that they’ll have a new star running back for this season.
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