Report: Raiders nearing agreement with Marshawn Lynch

Report: Raiders nearing agreement with Marshawn Lynch

Marshawn Lynch is closer to becoming a Raider, but he's not there yet. The powerful running back and Oakland native has been speaking with the Raiders about a new contract but player and team have not yet agreed on terms of a new deal.

While a pact hasn't been reached, an expectation remains that he will come out of retirement to play for his hometown team.

The NFL Network reported Friday afternoon that Lynch and the Raiders had agreed to terms, but Lynch pulled the reins on that. Lynch, who rarely speaks publicly, tweeted, "If u kno me you kno my business is my business and if u don't kno me that's a fun fact for ya... when s--t get REAL I'll let you kno!!!!

Reports from NFLN's Ian Rapoport and theMMQB.com's Albert Breer also stated that contract talks between Lynch and the Raiders aren't complete. 

Getting Lynch out of retirement and into Silver and Black is a complex process. 

A new deal is required, and would be contingent on the Raiders acquiring his rights from Seattle in trade. He also needs to be reinstated after a year away from the game. 

The Seahawks retained Lynch's rights after he retired following an injury-riddled 2015 season, and recently gave the Raiders permission to work out a new deal. Lynch has two years left on a big-money extension that would kick back in if he comes out of retirement, one neither the Seahawks nor Raiders are willing to pay now. 

Seahawks general manager John Schneider and Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie are friends dating back to their time working in Green Bay, and Schneider told ESPN Radio 710 in Seattle last week that trade talks would go smooth if they began.

The Raiders need a big-bodied bruiser to accent smaller backs Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington, and the soon-to-be 31-year old would certainly fill that void.

Lynch rushed for 9,112 yards and 74 touchdowns in nine seasons, with 1,979 more yards and nine touchdowns as a receiver. He’s known for a powerful, yet elusive rushing style that will fits well with what the Raiders do.

Lynch exceeded 1,200 yards in four straight seasons from 2011-14, and was borderline unstoppable at the end of that run. He had 1,306 yards and an NFL-best 13 touchdowns in 2014, averaging 4.7 yards per carry.

His production dipped in 2015, a season limited by an abdominal injury that required surgery. He averaged just 3.8 yards per carry on 111 rushes in seven games.

Lynch announced his retirement in a tweet shortly after Super Bowl 50, posting a picture on Twitter of shoes hanging on a telephone wire.

He travelled the world, guest-starred on television shows, expanded his Beast Mode clothing line and remained active in the Oakland community during his time away from the game. Grumblings about a possible return started a few weeks back, when he began exploring the prospect of a return.

He only wants to return to play for the Raiders. The Seahawks haven't stood in Lynch’s way. They granted Lynch permission to meet Raiders brass in Alameda on April 5 and allowed his agents to work out a new deal.

Lynch posted a cryptic tweet Thursday evening saying, ‘I’m thankful!!!! Yes Lawd!!!!” It led many, including former teammates to assume Lynch’s return was imminent. We're not there yet, and there isn't pressure to get everything ironed out even with the Raiders offseason program beginning Monday. 

McKenzie, Del Rio ‘unified since Day 1,’ ushering Raiders into next phase

McKenzie, Del Rio ‘unified since Day 1,’ ushering Raiders into next phase

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie and head coach Jack Del Rio have done three pre-draft press conferences now. They’ve got the routine down, knowing when to deflect questions, when to put people off the scent and, more importantly, how to seem unpredictable.

They were in lockstep again Friday, less than a week before the 2017 NFL Draft.

During their first, McKenzie offered one criticism of his head coach.

“Can you guys get Jack out of my office?” McKenzie said in 2015, with tongue firmly in cheek.

The rhetorical question was answered with a laugh. McKenzie was acknowledging how much Del Rio and staff wanted to support the scouting process. McKenzie ultimately pulls the trigger on draft day, but Del Rio has a loud voice in the room as he looks for players who fit his locker room and his schemes.

McKenzie has open ears, taking advice from the entire coaching staff while arranging his draft board. This time of year especially, coaches and scouts are working together.

“It’s been unified since Day 1,” Del Rio said. “Reggie and I are very unified and much on the same mission and that is to bring a world championship home to this organization. Everything we’re doing is attacking that, adding these impact players where we can.”

The pair was focused on improving a lackluster roster that featured Derek Carr and Khalil Mack but finished 3-13 the year before. Now their partnership is entering Phase II.

They must decide which players to add, and decide which previously drafted players to keep. There are some obvious extensions in the works, with Carr, Mack and Gabe Jackson. They had to let some homegrown talent go in free agency as they attempt to upgrade depth and build a championship roster that can build on last year’s success.

“There’s a whole different phase that we’re about to go through as an organization as you begin to mature, some of those players have to be re-signed or not. Those are decisions you have to make in all of this. This is year three for us working together and I feel like the relationship with the scouts and the coaches and the sharing of information is excellent. We want to continue to work that way.”

Locals among cornerbacks who can help Raiders early in NFL Draft

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AP

Locals among cornerbacks who can help Raiders early in NFL Draft

The Raiders have an opening in their secondary.

Finding a slot cornerback is a top priority with DJ Hayden now in Detroit. TJ Carrie is an option there, but the Raiders could add a young, versatile talent capable of taking a more prominent role down the line.

That’s true despite the fact Sean Smith signed a free-agent deal through 2019 last year and David Amerson received a contract extension through the 2020 season. Those contracts, however, become pay-as-you-go deals after this season.

The dead money goes away, freeing the Raiders to look for long-term upgrades if they see fit.

Head coach Jack Del Rio loves creating competition and depth, especially at such an important position in today’s NFL. The Raiders like larger, physical cornerbacks with ball skills, and there are plenty in this year’s draft.

Many analysts have the Raiders taking a cornerback at No. 24 overall, and that’s a realistic possibility. They could certainly look to help last year’s No. 24-ranked secondary in the early rounds.

Let’s take a look at some top options available in this week’s draft:

Good fits:There are quite a few quality cornerbacks who could be available at No. 24 overall, even if there’s an early run on the position.

Oakland native and Washington alum Kevin King visited the Raiders during the pre-draft process, and certainly fits what the Raiders like in a cornerback. He’s confident and aggressive, unafraid to use great physical traits to make plays on the ball. He’s tall and long and isn’t afraid to tackle.

USC’s Adoree Jackson has the quality ball skills the Raiders like, and is adept high-pointing the ball. Analysts say he can play several coverage techniques and has the agility to make up for mistakes. He can work in the slot, but at 5-foot-10 isn’t as tall as the Raiders like. They’d have to take him in the first round. He may not last beyond that.

San Jose native and Colorado product Chidobe Awuzie is another interesting local defensive back ready to turn pro. He can play outside or in the slot, and analysts say he has excellent one-on-one coverage skills but needs tackling work. He was a solid slot blitzer at Colorado, and could fill an immediate need crucial against so many three and four receiver sets.

Louisiana State’s Tre’Davious White has experience playing the slot, and could help right away there before transferring outside if asked. He can cover extremely well, though analysts say he isn’t much of a tackler. He might be a tweener as far as the Raiders are concerned, not worthy of the No. 24 pick but long gone before the Raiders pick in the second round.

Central Florida’s Shaquill Griffin visited the Raiders this spring, and rightfully so. A willing run defender with good ball skills and tackling ability who could be available in the third round should intrigue them.