The Oakland Raiders needs a new running back, and they are getting creative in an attempt to bolster their offense. Their target? Retired bruiser Marshawn Lynch.
Adam Schefter and Josina Anderson report the Raiders are pursuing the former Seattle Seahawks back.
This isn’t as simple as convincing Lynch to unretire. Seattle still owns his NFL rights, as he retired with two seasons left on his deal. Oakland would have to get Seattle to release (or trade) him and negotiate a new deal. It seems farfetched, as Lynch seems perfectly fine in retired life, but ESPN adds that it’s always been a dream of his to play for his hometown Raiders.
Latavius Murray’s departure to Minnesota opened a spot for Lynch in Oakland. But, the question remains. How much does he have left in the tank?
— Marquette King (@MarquetteKing) March 17, 2017
Lynch’s last NFL season included multiple injuries and poor performance by his standards. The 30-year-old averaged just 3.8 yards per carry in seven games, and didn’t have a rush longer than 24 yards. Who knows? Perhaps, a season away from the league allowed Lynch to get into great game shape. However, I’m not all optimistic that, right now, he’s a starting back in the NFL.
Oakland is a serious playoff contender. Filling a big hole in the lineup with a recently-retired, declining running back doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The better risky play for the Raiders would be Adrian Peterson—who actually wants to go there.
Lynch could return to the NFL and be effective. But, it’s a massive gamble for a contending team to take. Unless he’s willing to be a backup, pursuing higher-upside backs is likely the right move.