We assumed that Marshawn Lynch was retired for good. And we thought if the Oakland Raiders wanted a veteran running back to replace Latavius Murray, it might be someone such as Adrian Peterson.
Could we be wrong on both ends?
ESPN is reporting that the Raiders — get this — are considering trading for Lynch, whose rights still belong to the Seattle Seahawks after he announced his retirement a year ago. True, some of his former Seahawks teammates have not been convinced that the soon-to-be-31-year-old Lynch was done — and his behavior can be erratic at times. But even this strikes us as odd on both ends, even by Lynch standards.
It makes sense in this respect: the Raiders need a back, they’re gunning for a Super Bowl and Lynch is an Oakland native who spends a lot of time in the city. So that certainly all lines up. In his nine-year career (127 games), Lynch rushed for 9,112 yards (37th all time) and 83 TDs, with a 4.3-yard average and was named to five Pro Bowls and one All-Pro team from 2007 to 2015.
Word started to get out about Lynch possibly going to the Raiders when team broadcaster — and thus, team employee — Greg Papa said on Thursday on his weekday radio show (via PFT) that the Raiders “are talking to a certain running back” who remained nameless on the broadcast. It’s clear who Papa was speaking of, even if Beast Mode was not named.
“He did not even play in the NFL last year,” Papa added. “I’ll leave it there. Chew on that.”
If there’s any chewing, it could be Raiders brass giving Papa an earful for toeing the line of what is construed to be tampering by NFL rules. Even though Lynch is retired, the Seahawks still own his rights, and so technically he remains their property until they formally release — or trade — him. It is verboten for team employees to discuss other teams’ players, so that put the Raiders in a bit of an awkward spot.
But the possible tampering issue aside, there would be bigger, more football-related questions about a Lynch return to the NFL.
Would he be committed after forging a nice second career as an adventurer and funny-video maker? Could he step into a significant role after taking the year off if he returned? And how many Skittles might the Raiders have to fork over in a trade? And this would not exactly be a strong sign of Peterson ending up with the Raiders, eh?
All fascinating questions to ponder while we await more information on this remarkable report.
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