By Philip Robinson | @chocP3thunder | 03/20/2017
Prior to the end of Thursday’s radio show The Afternoon Delight on flagship station 95.7 The Game, Oakland Raider play-by-play man Greg Papa alluded to news about the Raiders closing in a deal for a veteran running back who had not played in the league at all last year.
Papa may have set the world on fire without having fully mentioned anybody directly, but it would not matter as only one matched his description. Retired Seattle Seahawk and former California Golden Bear Marshawn Lynch is not just a native or a local, Lynch is an Oakland California ambassador. Beast Mode is “all about that action boss”, Town Bizz and an embodiment of the spirit of the ‘BAY’. Born and raised in “Ice City” North Oakland, Lynch is one of the most beloved Bay Area figures of all time. The mere insinuation of his name very nearly brought twitter to a halt.
At around nearly 8:30am EST Friday morning NFL insider Adam Schefter in accordance with a report from ESPN’s Josina Anderson confirmed what Papa had already floated out into the universe.
Keep in mind this is an extremely fluid situation with a lot of moving parts. Technically under NFL rule talking to another team’s’ player while they are under contract without the permission of the team is called “tampering.” While in this day and age of the NFL free agency has gone the way of the NBA with players often recruiting potential team members equally as harder than general managers. Tampering with a retired player is still tampering.
A move like this would be for the benefit of the fans, but I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact it reeks of a PR stunt. With relocation to Vegas on the horizon and a potential vote on the issue coming up in eight days, it seems Raider’s upper management has found a way to potentially keep the stadium full while trying to move the team away. For this little sleight of hand to continue a couple of things need to happen. For starters Lynch has to end his retirement and get out of his Seahawk contract, this can be accomplished a multitude of ways.
Option A: Raider general manager Reggie Mckenzie can place a phone call to his buddy and former co-worker John Schneider and see if Schneider will do him a solid and step out of the way and release Lynch.
Option B: Mckenzie calls Schneider and the two parties work out a trade for Lynch and a low round draft pick
Option C: Lynch must meet with the Seahawks ask for his release and possibly payback a portion of his signing bonus.
In no way is this concrete or even more than fantasy, playing on devil’s advocacy Ian Rapoport had this to say about potential holdups.
Next Lynch must either renegotiate his contract or sign a completely new one as it is unlikely the Raiders are about to give Lynch $9 million dollars when they refused to pay free agent Latavius Murray $3.4 million in guaranteed money. However, renegotiating the deal may be the easiest part. Lynch has been extremely smart with his money and taking a paycut to have the opportunity to win a super bowl with his hometown team may be a willing trade off.
Lynch would be a 31 year old running back coming off a year of retirement and a hernia. His current price tag is too rich for the Raiders blood, his production may or may not be declining, or he could flat out suck. Lynch should dominate behind the massive offensive line in Oakland, at the very least he should be able to contribute and be a short yardage specialist. The Town means everything to Lynch and Lynch signing with the Raiders would mean everything to the town.
Five days after the news broke that Lynch, the Raiders and the Seahawks were entering this three-way dance, reports continue to back it. Fans continue to scour twitter and instagram looking for any updates to this latest saga as Lynch posted a link to his snapchat icecity43. The significance being social media was the platform he choose to announce his retirement. In fact, in the MMQB Peter King couldn’t let the hottest story in speculation pass without adding it to his column, credit to Ryan Lopes @StillRyanFive for breaking it down.
It has been amazing to sit back and watch the craze this has generated. The fever swept up a few objective impartial writers and turned them into unabashedly shameless homers for a day. The number 24 jersey has been iconic in Raider History belonging to two hall of fame caliber players Willie Brown and Charles Woodson. One thing is for sure when this is completed and Lynch joins the Raiders, his jersey will not be able to stay on the racks.