Is Marshawn Lynch really interested in an NFL return? Oakland Raiders rumors continue to mention the Seattle Seahawks, Marshawn Lynch, and even Adrian Peterson as the offseason progresses. The biggest piece of NFL news from Monday (March 20) is that Beast Mode is ready to return to the league. This is where a million Seahawks fans roll their eyes, as there have been quite a few rumors since Lynch retired from professional football.
A report by NFL analyst Ian Rapoport states that there is a source claiming that Lynch really wants to play for the Raiders. Rapoport even quotes the source, adding a bit of realism to the situation. Reportedly, Lynch also only wants to play for the Raiders, choosing to remain retired if that isn't a possibility. This means that no reunion between Beast Mode and his friends on the Seahawks' roster is going to be in the cards.
As previously reported by the Inquisitr, a heavy hint was left by the Pro Bowl running back on his Twitter feed over the weekend. It continued a trend of circumstantial evidence suggesting that California is where Lynch wants to play. For the Oakland Raiders, Marshawn Lynch might make a lot of sense, as the team has a desperate need to replace Latavius Murray at running back. While it might be easier to lure former NFL MVP Adrian Peterson to town, Lynch has personal ties to the area that could also make him the perfect offseason signing.
So is Marshawn Lynch unretiring? Only he knows that answer for sure, but there are a number of steps that would need to take place before these Oakland Raiders rumors could become a reality. The most important step is that Lynch announces he is returning to the NFL. At that point, Lynch's contract with the Seattle Seahawks would be put back in place.
That contract would pay him a base salary of $9 million in 2017 and then a salary of $7 million in the 2018 NFL season. He also has a roster bonus of $3 million that would kick in if he remains with the Raiders following the 2017 NFL Playoffs. Lynch's contract still has those two years left on it, meaning the Seahawks remain in complete control of him from a playing standpoint.
For the Seattle Seahawks, Marshawn Lynch would immediately become an active roster player if he decides to unretire. That would mean Lynch counts against the salary cap space for the team unless they were to trade him or release him. In a trade scenario, the Seahawks could inquire about draft pick compensation from the Raiders. The alternative would be to simply do Lynch a favor and release him into free agency.
The Seahawks could also choose to play hardball in this situation and refuse to simply cut Lynch so that he could play for another franchise. That comes with the risk of creating problems in the Seahawks' locker room, as Lynch still has many friends on the team. The result could be a lot of annoyed Seahawks fans, especially if Lynch refuses to play for the team and forces general manager John Schneider into a difficult position.
No matter which way these Oakland Raiders rumors drift, the team is still working with a lot of salary cap space this offseason. It means that the Raiders could either absorb Marshawn Lynch's contract in a trade or look to sign him in free agency. The latest estimate on the Raiders' cap space has the team with roughly $32 million available to spend. That's even taking into account the signing of tight end Jared Cook, who gives Raiders quarterback Derek Carr another weapon to work with.
This is going to be a difficult situation for Seattle, possibly even becoming a no-win scenario for the franchise. The team may be placed in an untenable situation unless the front office decides to take a hard-line stance in which an asset or two comes back to Washington state. No matter what any of the latest Oakland Raiders rumors might state or what any NFL analyst might report, until the former Pro Bowl running back issues an official statement, Seattle Seahawks fans are still left with one major question this offseason: Is Marshawn Lynch unretiring or not?
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