Marshawn Lynch Raiders Rumors are not going silent any time soon. The retired Seattle Seahawks running back visited the Raiders front office this week. Lynch is from Oakland so there has been speculation that he would only play for the Raiders. Plus, Oakland has a need at running back since last season’s starter Latavius Murray left via free agency.
Could Marshawn Lynch finally come home and play for Silver and Black?
Unfortunately, this movement is beginning a little too late. The Raiders should pass on the running back nicknamed “Beast Mode.” Here are four compelling reasons why Marshawn Lynch does not solve the Raiders’ need for a running back.
#Raiders have many things to check out, including how Marshawn Lynch entering the young locker room works. Lynch would only return for them.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 5, 2017
The most compelling argument for the Marshawn Lynch Raiders rumors is what he would do for the culture. You don’t have to tell Lynch about the Raiders’ significance to the Bay Area. Lynch grew up and played his college ball in the Bay Area. He is familiar with the mystique and swagger of the Raiders.
This is probably why Lynch embodies the tough and relentless swagger of the Bay Area himself. He is also extremely smart and socially aware. Hence, it does make sense that the Raiders would look to fill their need at running back with a capable veteran and fan favorite like Lynch. Lynch understands what that team means to the community of Oakland.
Still, Lynch might not be the ideal culture fit that Raiders fans want. Remember, the Bay Area local media is renowned for their skills. They do a lot of great interviews, while Lynch has always been infamously difficult with the media.
Moreover, Raiders players like Derek Carr and Khalil Mack are super accessible with the media. Oakland defenders Sean Smith and Bruce Irvin might be too accessible. Lynch might like these guys taking the spotlight from him, but he might also grow tired of the Raiders’ media-friendly approach.
Forget Marshawn Lynch’s career highlights, no matter how cool they are. You do not need to be an expert to understand that running backs decline after the age of 30. Just think about your favorite running back. There is a good chance that you saw him decline after 30-years-old. Just ask Adrian Peterson who looked like a shell of himself last season.
Father time is undefeated across professional sports, and that is especially true for running backs. No one can reverse the amount of punishment that these NFL players take every time they touch the ball.
Nonetheless, Lynch is 31-years-old. He was out of football last season, which means he could be rested. It could also mean that he is out of shape. Either way, there is no way that Lynch is the long-term solution at running back. He is too old. The Raiders offense is built around young talent like receiver Amari Cooper, quarterback Derek Carr, and guard Gabe Jackson. Oakland would be better off finding a younger runner to develop alongside the rest of the young Raiders.
Let’s also remember that Lynch had the worst season of his career in 2015, which was the last time he played. He registered career lows in yards and touchdowns. Further, Oakland already has two young running backs on the roster. Last year, DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard both topped 500 rushing yards. Both rookies did more in 2016 than Lynch in 2015. Hence, it doesn’t make sense to add a veteran like Lynch.
Speaking of young running backs, this upcoming NFL Draft is loaded with potential starters. Alvin Kamara, D’onta Foreman, Joe Mixon, Kadeem Hunt, and Jeremy McNichols are just some of the names that could start in the NFL despite being available after the first round of the draft.
All of those 2017 NFL Draft prospects offer a higher ceiling than Lynch. Granted, they might also never go to multiple Pro Bowls like Lynch. However, the Raiders might as well start developing a workhorse running back now.
Plus, there is a good chance that any Raiders runner added in the draft will come cheaper than Lynch. Not to mention, the Raiders may have to send a draft pick to the Seattle Seahawks for Lynch. Even if the trade only costs the Raiders one of their sixth round picks, Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie loves his draft picks. No way he would give one up for a veteran running back.
Ultimately, the Oakland Raiders may still sign or trade for Marshawn Lynch. There is a reason why these “Beast Mode” rumors won’t cease. The Raiders are desperate to keep their final year or years in Oakland as civilized as possible. Adding Lynch could make a lot of Oakland Raiders fans happy before the team relocates to Las Vegas as soon as 2019.
Still, Marshawn Lynch deserves better than being added as a public relations move. The Raiders fans deserve better than an over-the-hill running back no matter how cool his nickname is. Thus, the Oakland Raiders should pass on making Marshawn Lynch their marquee offseason addition. Sorry Lynch, but the homecoming should remain as nothing more than a dream.
[Featured Image by Bob Leverone/AP Images]