Oakland Raiders: 3 Barriers To Marshawn Lynch Joining Team

The Oakland Raiders appear to be nearing a deal that would bring Marshawn Lynch out of retirement and to the Bay Area, but some obstacles remain

It looks like Beast Mode is set for a return, and the only team he will play for is his home town team. As reported by Pat McAfee of Barstool Sports, the Oakland Raiders welcomed Marshawn Lynch to their training facility on Wednesday (per ESPN) to discuss the logistics behind a possible return to the NFL.

Lynch was in town to meet with head coach Jack Del Rio, who will have to sign off on the move. But the running back will need much more than coaches blessing to get back on the field. For Beast Mode to wear the Silver and Black in 2017, the Raiders will have to put a number of things into motion—though Del Rio will be the final obstacle:

The first hurdle is the former Seattle Seahawk’s decision to un-retire. That has been accomplished according to Ian Rapport, who reported on Wednesday that Lynch has informed the Raiders of his intention to un-retire.

Next, technically the Seattle Seahawks would still have rights to Lynch in the event he decided to make a return to the NFL. That means the Seahawks would have to be willing to either release or trade Lynch. Considering they signed Eddie Lacy this offseason, that shouldn’t be an issue on the surface.

At the outset, it seems the Seahawks are willing to cut their former running back loose. According to Ian Rapoport, the Seahawks gave their blessing on Lynch’s visit to Oakland. If the Seahawks are willing to be reasonable, the odds of Beast Mode returning to the NFL increase dramatically.

The last hurdle, of course, is the money. The Raiders have the cap space. There is no question they would like to add Lynch to the Silver and Black rushing attack. Now it boils down to how much of their cap space the Oakland Raiders are willing to commit to Lynch, an important decision considering extensions for Derek Carr and Khalil Mack are still on general manager Reggie McKenzie’s priority list.

The notoriously tight-lipped Lynch has given no indication on how much or how long he would like to be under contract. The shorter the deal the better for the Raiders, who can ill afford to be strapped down to a long-term contract with an aging running back. Conventional thinking would tell us that Lynch would want at least a two-year deal. That said, the former Seahawk and Buffalo Bill has been anything but predictable throughout his career, meaning a one-year deal may not be out of the question.

Signing Lynch will also change the Raiders draft strategy. The Raiders were expected to draft a running back after losing Latavius Murray to free agency. With Lynch toting the rock, the attention will most certainly turn the defense.

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