ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) — Retired running back Marshawn Lynch visited the Oakland Raiders on Wednesday as he decides whether to come back to the NFL and the team decides whether it wants to acquire the hometown favorite.
A person familiar with the visit says Lynch came to the facility to meet with Raiders officials. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the visit wasn’t announced by the team. The visit was first reported by recently retired Indianapolis punter Pat McAfee, who now writes for Barstool Sports.
Seahawks general manager John Schneider told a Seattle radio station that he has discussed a deal to send Lynch to Oakland with Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie in case Lynch does come out of retirement.
Lynch retired following the 2015 season. The Seahawks still hold his rights but would be unlikely to want to pay his $9 million for this year if he decides to comeback. Schneider says he doesn’t anticipate any difficulties trading Lynch to Oakland because of his long history with McKenzie, who worked with him for years in Green Bay.
“I think it’s one that will go in a smooth manner because of our relationship,” Schneider told the station.
The Raiders have a need for a power running back after losing Latavius Murray in free agency. Lynch was perhaps the best in the league before he retired. He had double digits in touchdown runs every season from 2011-14, and his 51 TDs on the ground are the most in the NFL since 2011 despite playing just seven games in 2015 and being retired all last season.
Lynch, who turns 31 later this month, averaged 3.8 yards per carry in his limited action in 2015 before retiring. Prior to that he was one of the game’s top running backs with more than 1,200 yards rushing in each of the previous four seasons.
For his career, Lynch has rushed for 9,112 yards and 74 touchdowns.
Lynch was born and raised in Oakland and played college ball nearby at California. He still has strong ties to the area through his Beast Mode company and would be a welcome addition for a fan base still stung by the team’s upcoming move to Las Vegas for the 2020 season.