Raiders

Oaklander Marshawn Lynch will be a handy shield for Mark Davis

Oaklander Marshawn Lynch will be a handy shield for Mark Davis

Marshawn Lynch has some big beast to mode in his new role as Oakland’s Oaklandest Raider, and the first item on the agenda is to make the customers forget that most of them are about to be ex-customers.

Lynch, who is a pro forma trade between the Raiders and the Seattle Seahawks away from repatriation with his ancestral home, will be a handy shield (pun intended) to those who want to string Mark Davis up from the highest light pole at Bushrod Park. At least he will be in the short term.

What he is as a football player two years from his best seasons remains to be seen. He turns 31 a week from Saturday, and 31-year-olds, even ones who have taken a year off from the game to rejuvenate a battered body and weary mind, do not tend to light up the night with their incandescent talents.

But Lynch could also defy the math because those best seasons were wondrous things indeed. And the closer he is to his Mode years, the greater the Raiders’ chances of doing the one thing that can save Davis from the ignominy that awaits him in this town.

Win the big one.

The Raiders’ proudest era is now 35 years old; that’s the last time they won the Super Bowl by eviscerating Washington. It’s been a hills-and-ravines existence since then, and the current Raiders just finished living down 12 years of horrendous existence.

They are, in the words of the prophets, a very live bet indeed.

They are also a very live bet on the way out of town, which means that for Oakland fans who have chosen to endure far more than a fan base should be expected to, the window will be open for three more years, max, before it shuts for good . . . or until they move back to Oakland in 2033 as part of their 20 years in/13 years out/20 years in migratory pattern.

Thus, Lynch will define at least some of the terms of the Raiders’ departure. If he is a key contributor to another parade, he will be remembered as the man who made the team’s departure a slightly more palatable one. That’s a nice way to never have to pay for another drink in your town ever again.

And for him, this is a win-win proposition. If he isn’t Lynchy enough for the fan base – that is, if his 31-year-old legs act the way most 31-year-old legs act in the modern NFL – at least he came with the best of intentions, and whatever bad feelings about the Las Vegas Raiders remain won’t touch him. After all, he will have chosen the OAKLAND Raiders, while most of his teammates will have been assigned to them.

Yes, that matters. At a time when Oakland’s renaissance-let is coming with the departures of two of their three professional sports teams, wanting Oakland has always played well with those who live in Oakland . . . as it should.

And while anyone can come home again, coming home this way plays exceedingly well. Marshawn Lynch has always understood this about his home, and if nothing else, he is genuine about Oakland.

So he will be a Raider at last, and no matter what kind of Raider he turns out to be, he will be an honored Oaklander no matter what.

But if he happens to be the grand marshal in the city’s final Super Bowl parade, well, being made the mayor without ever having to be elected is a nice gig, too. He just has a finite time to pull it off before Mark Davis reminds everyone that he owns the Oakland Renters.

Raiders' Sean Smith charged with assault

Raiders' Sean Smith charged with assault

Raiders cornerback Sean Smith has been charged with assault, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced on Thursday.

The charge is for assault of his sister's boyfriend in Smith's hometown of Pasadena. Smith allegedly beat and stomped the boyfriend's head on the morning of July 4, 2017 in Old Town Pasadena, the district attorney said.

Smith faces formal felony counts of assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury and battery with serious bodily injury to the victim.

The 30-year old plans to fight the charges levied against him. 

"Sean maintains his innocence at this time," Smith's attorney, Daniel Rosenberg told NBC Sports Califorinia on Thursday evening. "We are going to be entering a plea of not guilty and fighting these charges."

A warrant was filed on Aug. 16. Smith's arriagnment is scheduled for Sept. 29. 

Smith was not present at Thursday's Raiders practice, the last session of training camp. He surrendered to Los Angeles County authorities, posted an $80,000 bond and has been released from custody.

If convicted as charged, Smith could face a maximum sentence of seven years in California prison. 

A Raiders spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The case is still under investigation by the Pasadena Police Department. 

This is another blow in a rough summer for Smith. He has struggled on the practice field during training camp and faces an off-field legal issue. Smith is guaranteed $9.5 million for the 2017 season. 

More to come...

After speaking with Marshawn Lynch, two things are crystal clear

After speaking with Marshawn Lynch, two things are crystal clear

NAPA – Marshawn Lynch spoke with the media Thursday for the second time as a Raider. He was quick-witted, disarming and, as always, not suitable for work.

It was five minutes of peak Marshawn, where he brought light to his charitable endeavors, called himself the “daddy” of his position group and cleverly sidestepped all things nation anthem.

He was asked four questions on other topics before elephant in the room was mentioned. It didn’t stick around long.

“I think the elephant left the room because a little mouse ran in here,” Lynch deadpanned. “Didn’t they say elephants are scared of mice or something? That [expletive] left the room, cousin.”

[RATTO: Lynch reminds media how much control he exerts over any interaction]

Two more related questions came down the pike. The first was about Del Rio letting players be themselves. He answered a different question instead.

“Yeah, because on ‘doctor-24,’ it’s a designed way that you’re supposed to run it but I have all freedom to go any way that I choose to run it,” Lynch said. “I would say, yes.”

The final anthem-esque query was deflected in a similar fashion.

“When we run ‘74’ or something like that, where I have to scan and read on both sides, that is pretty difficult. For the most part, I’m a veteran so I can make it work.”

Two things were crystal clear after speaking with Lynch.

He didn’t miss football one bit during his year in retirement. Lynch said this spring he decided to return after the Raiders were approved to relocate away from his native Oakland. He wants to represent his hometown well and give them something to cheer before the team leaves for Las Vegas.

That’s why he’s fired up even for Saturday’s exhibition against the Rams – he’s expected to make a cameo in that game – his first in Oakland wearing silver and black.

“It’s truly a blessing and just to have the opportunity to go and do that is a good [expletive] feeling,” Lynch said. “It’s a good [expletive] feeling.”

Lynch has always been active in the community, and hopes him playing here will bring more visibility to what’s being done to help kids in Oakland.

“I plan on continuing to do what I do in the community,” Lynch said. “It’ll probably be that now that I’m here, more people that are in the community might actually come out and support what it is that we’ve got going on.”