For weeks it’s been reported that running back Marshawn Lynch was planning to come out of retirement to play for the Oakland Raiders.
As the two seemed close to coming to a contract agreement late last week, which would precipitate a trade with the Seattle Seahawks, nothing has officially happened yet.
Now, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, there’s a deadline for the Raiders and Lynch to get a deal done.
“Right now, there’s no agreement between Marshawn Lynch and the Oakland Raiders, and the real deadline here – they hoped to have it done by yesterday when offseason conditioning started, didn’t happen –the real deadline here is the draft,” Rapoport said. “Because it is possible that the Raiders get on the clock Thursday night or Friday, and say ‘Alright, we’re going to take this running back. He has a value here for us. We’re just going to take the leap.’ And once they take a running back, it probably will close the door on Marshawn Lynch.”
The Raiders are expected to take a running back in the draft even if they sign Lynch. But where they take that running back could indicate whether or not the Raiders add Lynch. Like Rapoport says, a round one or two pick could spell the end of Lynch. A day 3 pick wouldn’t preclude the Raiders from adding Lynch.
If the Raiders agree to a deal with Lynch, Oakland would still need to work out a trade with the Seahawks. But first the Raiders and Lynch must agree to a deal. What seemed like a sure-thing just a few days ago now at least has some doubt.