Pete Carroll: Marshawn Lynch 'somewhat entertaining' a return to NFL

Pete Carroll: Marshawn Lynch 'somewhat entertaining' a return to NFL

PHOENIX – Pete Carroll met with Marshawn Lynch roughly 10 days ago. The Seattle Seahawks head coach said his former running back did not say he was coming out of retirement.

Lynch, is however, considering the prospect.

“He’s somewhat entertaining the thought of it,” Carroll said Wednesday at the NFL owners meetings. “I can’t tell you how strongly. You’d have to talk to him about that, and that chance ain’t happening.”

Lynch rarely talks to the press, though he has been visible during his year away from the NFL. He guest-starred on television shows, travelled the world, promoted the heck out of Skittles and did significant charity work in his native Oakland.

Lynch retired after the 2015 season and has repeatedly said he’s happy in retirement. Carroll suggests a comeback has entered Lynch’s head, but that doesn’t mean he’s coming back for sure.

The 30-year old is an enigmatic, unpredictable fellow. If he does return, Lynch reportedly only wants to do so with the Raiders.

The Silver and Black need a powerful running back to join a rotation with Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington, and Lynch is versatile enough to produce in the Raiders’ diverse offensive system.

General manager Reggie McKenzie and head coach Jack Del Rio couldn’t comment on Lynch even in retirement, because his rights still belong to the Seahawks. He has two years remaining on a contract he signed before the 2015 season.

Seattle would have a decision to make if Lynch is reinstated. The bruising back would count $9 million against the Seahawks’ salary cap, a number that doesn’t fit into their budget.

They could release him or seek a trade, though Carroll didn’t state the Seahawks plans should Lynch decide to come back.

“I don’t know,” Carroll said. “We’ll talk about that if the time comes.”

The Raiders won’t give up draft picks to get him. Sources says the Silver and Black would strongly consider bringing him to Alameda if he were a free agent, though Lynch would have to work within the Raiders budget as well.

Carroll said Lynch would have to be motivated in a return to play his intense brand of football.

“It depends on how he has approached this offseason,” Carroll said. “The mentality of what it takes to play this game the way that he plays it, he really has to be invested and ready. He goes deep when he plays. Whether or not the burn is still inside him, I couldn’t tell that. I know he was kind of playing with the idea.”

Raiders offensive lineman next in line for extension with Carr's deal done

Raiders offensive lineman next in line for extension with Carr's deal done

The Raiders locked up Derek Carr last week, signing their franchise quarterback to a five-year, $125 million contract extension.

He isn’t the only member of the 2014 draft class worthy of a raise. Edge rusher Khalil Mack will get a big one, likely at some point next offseason. The Raiders have some time with Mack after exercising a fifth-year contract option available for first-round picks.

General manager Reggie McKenzie didn’t have that luxury with Carr, and his 2014 second-round pick cashed in before formally entering a contract year.

Right guard Gabe Jackson could do the exact same thing. McKenzie prefers to draft, develop and reward homegrown talent, and the 2014 third-round pick should be next in line to do so.

McKenzie has said back in March that he’d like to extend Jackson’s contract, though there isn’t a deadline to do so.

“There’s no timetable,” general manager Reggie McKenzie said. “But, I alluded to earlier in the offseason that Gabe is one of the guys I want to get locked up.”

That could happen later this offseason, or further into training camp. Despite paying Carr an NFL-record $25 million in 2017, his contract is structured in such a way that there’s room for another offseason extension. That was important for Carr, that the Raiders can sign other members of this young core.

“We figured out a way to do it,” Carr said, “so that we have the opportunity to sign the other guys that I think are important to this organization.”

The Raiders have roughly $18 million in salary cap space after the Carr deal. Some of that is earmarked for the team’s top three draft picks, which remain unsigned to this point. A large sum could go to Jackson as incentive to sign up early, well before he’s eligible to hit the unrestricted free agency.

The offensive guard market is booming, with bigger deals going to a position group generally lower than other spots on the offensive line. The Raiders contributed to that inflation in 2016, signing left guard Kelechi Osemele to a five-year, $58.5 deal with $25.4 million in guarantees.

Osemele is one of eight guards with contracts worth $40 million or more, a list that includes two right guards. Jackson played left guard – the more valued position – until Osemele showed up. He moved to the right without complaint.

Jackson thrived there as well. He didn’t allow a sack in 2016, according to analytics site Pro Football Focus, with 27 quarterback pressures in 735 pass-blocking snaps. Jackson has been a strong run blocker as a pro, where he has started 44 games in three NFL seasons.

Finding proper value to entice Jackson to sign while remaining on budget is McKenzie’s next task, trying to keep a valuable offensive lineman in place for years to come.

Carr plans to spread new wealth after Raiders contract extension

Carr plans to spread new wealth after Raiders contract extension

ALAMEDA – Derek Carr isn’t one for extravagance. The low-key Raiders quarterback already has some nice cars, a house and some luxury items to his name, but signing a $125 million contract extension Friday morning won't prompt a spending spree.

Cornerback Sean Smith suggested he get a Bugatti. That’s a $1 million car.

“Yeah,” Carr said with a smirk. “That’s not going to happen.”

That isn’t the 26-year old’s style. Carr had a his own plan after signing on the dotted line.

“I’ve been eating clean,” Carr said. “I’ll probably get Chick-fil-A.”

That makes sense. This is a guy who celebrated his first NFL victory with a trip through a Carl’s Jr. drive-in.

There will be other purchases. His wife Heather will get something nice in the near future. His family, especially Heather and sons Dallas and Deker, will be taken care of for life.

After all that, Carr plans to spread the wealth.

“The exciting thing for me moneywise, honestly, is this money is going to help a lot of people,” Carr said. “I’m very thankful to have it, that it’s in our hands because it’s going to help people. Not only in this country, but in a lot of countries around the world. That’s what’s exciting to me.”

Carr and former Raiders running back Latavius Murray took a missionary trip to Haiti, an impoverished nation had a profound impact on the star quarterback.

“I’ve been down to Haiti and I’ve seen some of those struggles that they have and the kids there, and my heart just… I cry sometimes thinking about it,” Carr said. “So, just knowing that we can go down there and make a difference and help, those are the kind of things that the money makes me kind of like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ Because now we can really do some things to help a lot of people.”

He plans to support those in that area, in addition to global and domestic charities he has been involved with over the years. Don’t expect a press release accompanying every donation. Carr would rather keep those decisions private.

“I’m going to do my best to make sure no one knows what we do with it,” Carr said. “I’ll just say this, I can assure you that it’s going to help a lot of people. I’m not stingy. My business manager will probably be on me saying, ‘Hey man, that’s enough.’ I won’t get into when, how or why. It’s not all about that for me. It’s about making a difference. That’s what’s exciting for me is that we’ll be able to do that.”