Oakland Raiders: Will Jack Del Rio Give Marshawn Lynch Green Light?

Running back Marshawn Lynch visited the Oakland Raiders facility to meet with head coach Jack Del Rio on Wednesday. Is he a step closer to a return?

Now-retired punter Pat McAfee of Barstool Sports first noted running back Marshawn Lynch’s visit with the Oakland Raiders on Wednesday:

NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport confirmed Lynch’s presence at Raiders headquarters and offered more insight on who’s calling the shots on his potential return to the league with his hometown team:

Head coach Jack Del Rio has the power to give the green light on the Raiders’ end in Lynch’s talks. The Seattle Seahawks still own the running back’s rights, but gave the okay for the visit. Discussion on a transaction would be the next step in Beast Mode’s quest to play for the Silver and Black.

During the NFL owner meetings, general manager Reggie McKenzie talked about adding a bigger ball-carrier to the backfield, per San Francisco Chronicle reporter Vic Tafur:

At the moment, it seems the Raiders’ brass has a legitimate interest in bringing Lynch out of retirement to complement two electric running backs, who can run and catch out of the backfield in DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard.

Oakland ranked No. 6 in rushing offense with running back Latavius Murray in the featured role during the previous season. He signed a three-year deal with the Minnesota Vikings during the free-agency period. On fresh legs, Lynch would more than compensate for the loss at the position.

However, the team would also have to work out a restructured contract upon his release or after a trade with the Seahawks. Right now, Lynch carries a $9 million cap hit, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter and Josina Anderson:

Under terms of his existing contract, Lynch would be in line for a $9 million salary and cap hit in 2017. In 2018, he would be due a base salary of $7 million and could potentially earn an additional $3 million roster bonus.

McKenzie expressed interest in extending quarterback Derek Carr, edge-rusher Khalil Mack and offensive guard Gabe Jackson in the near future, per CSN Bay Area Scott Bair:

According to Spotrac, Oakland has $33 million in cap space. A source close to Schefter feels Lynch will don the silver and black colors at some point:

If the Seahawks and Raiders communication intensifies within the coming days, it’s clear Del Rio gave the initial thumbs up. It’s a critical time for NFL front offices. With the draft three weeks away, executives and coaches must put together their draft boards. Oakland will have an opportunity to select a bruising ball-carrier in a deep running back class if Lynch talks fall apart.

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