It was just a few short days ago that it looked like Marshawn Lynch to the Oakland Raiders was an inevitability. The only question was whether Lynch and the Raiders would work out a new contract. A trade from Seattle to Oakland seemed to have already been agreed to.
Now, with less than a week before the 2017 NFL Draft, it’s less certain whether Lynch will end up with the Raiders. The two sides have not agreed to terms on a new contract and the Seahawks themselves were thrown for a loop regarding a previous report that trade compensation had had already been finalized.
In need of a starting running back, the Raiders would now like to know whether Lynch intends on coming out of retirement and playing for his home-town team. They would also like to know before the upcoming draft, as pointed out be general manager Reggie McKenzie.
Reggie McKenzie on Marshawn Lynch: “At some point, you would like to know. Prior to the draft is that point.” #Raiders
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) April 21, 2017
After watching Latavius Murray depart in free agency, running back is a major hole on an otherwise stacked offense. Oakland has also been linked to Stanford product Christian McCaffrey in the first round.
While Lynch’s presence on the Raiders’ roster likely wouldn’t have a long-term impact on what they do in the draft, it could dictate where they add a running back. Simply put, a Super Bowl contender is not going to exhaust a first-round pick on someone that won’t make an immediate impact.
It’s in this that McKenzie and Co. are justified in wanting to know Lynch’s plans before the draft kicks off on Thursday. That’s only magnified by the fact that the Raiders seem willing to walk away from a potential Lynch deal should it not come to fruition here soon.