The Marshawn Lynch to the Oakland Raiders saga is far from over, and might actually cease to exist if his hometown team and the Seattle Seahawks don’t work out a trade by the time the 2017 NFL draft comes along.
Lynch, after not playing through 2016 and seemingly retiring from the NFL after a successful yet somewhat short career, most of it with the Seahawks, a team he went to a couple of Super Bowls with, has decided he wants back in the NFL. Publicity stunt? Right now he seems serious, mostly talking about playing for the Raiders (he grew up in Oakland), but has been in contact with the New England Patriots, who have done a great job of retooling for yet another Super Bowl run.
As of now, the Seahawks and the Raiders won’t make a trade until there’s a new deal in place for Lynch. Lynch doesn’t need to be reinstated into the league to be dealt, although he does need to complete the process in order to be eligible to play for anyone in 2017.
And what if the Seahawks don’t deal Lynch to the Raiders by April 27? It might mean that the Raiders will give up on Lynch. Right now they have only four running backs on the roster: Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington, Jamize Olawale and Taiwan Jones. Those are the guys left after Latavius Murray left in free agency, and none of them make the Raiders too confident about giving them the #1 running back slot.
And so it gives the Raiders quite an incentive to go for a running back in the draft. Many think they’ll go for former Florida State star Dalvin Cook, but he isn’t the only running back in this draft capable of falling into the Raiders hand, perhaps as a #1 kind of guy, or perhaps as part of a committee. Lynch? If he’s serious about returning to the NFL, he’ll find a team. It just might not be with the team he initially intended to play for.