Marshawn Lynch ejected for pushing an official

Marshawn Lynch ejected for pushing an official

OAKLAND – Raiders running back Marshawn Lynch was ejected from Thursday night’s 31-30 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs for making contact with an official.

He was on the sideline to start a 3rd-down-and-16 in the second quarter, when a draw was called. Quarterback Derek Carr was stopped quickly, yet Chiefs cornerback Marcus Peters delivered a late hit the Raiders offensive line didn’t appreciate.

The front five was bearing down on Peters when Lynch ran on to the field to enter the fray. You can’t do that.

It appears on video that Lynch tried to get between Raiders teammates and Peters, Lynch’s close friend and fellow Oakland native. The goal, it seemed, was to get Peters out of harm's way. He made contact with an official during the incident in doing so, and seemed to push him before realizing the man was wearing stripes. You can't do that, either. Not without repercussions.

Lynch was ejected by rule and forced to leave the field immediately. Lynch will be fined $30,387 for making contact with an official and will possibly face a suspension. He spent the rest of the game in a family section of the stands, and was seen in the locker room congratulating teammates after a big win. 

The 31-year old didn't explain his reason for going on the field, but others made his intentions clear.

“They can say what they want but one thing’s for certain: Family do come first,” Peters told Bay Area News Group reporter Logan Murdock.

Lynch and Peters are extremely close. The run the Family First foundation with fellow Oakland football star Josh Johnson, which performs charitable work throughout Oakland and the East Bay. Lynch is the older brother in that relationship, and he seemed to instinctively try and protect his own. 

It may have been a bigger deal had the Raiders lost, or DeAndre Washington not muscled into the end zone from four yards out in the third quarter. Raiders players didn't seem upset by Lynch's immediate action, though the didn't appreciate a lead running back getting ejected in a crucial game.

"Marshawn wasn’t doing anything; he was just trying to protect his cousin, get his cousin to the sideline," said Raiders left tackle Donald Penn, one of Lynch's best friends on the team. "They’re real close, they’re more like brothers than cousins, they’re real close. He’s going to learn. Marshawn’s smart, he’s going to learn from that moving forward.”

Lynch and Peters were seen together on BART after the game, reportedly filming a music video for Lynch's BeastMode Productions. 

Reports: Marshawn Lynch to remain with Raiders in 2018


Reports: Marshawn Lynch to remain with Raiders in 2018

The Raiders signed veteran running back Doug Martin on Thursday, prompting many to believe the move meant the end of Marshawn Lynch's time in Oakland.

But as it has been expected, Martin is just another piece to go along with Lynch in the Raiders' backfield. According to multiple national reports, Lynch will remain in Silver and Black this upcoming season. 

The news will become official when the Raiders pay Lynch his $1 million roster bonus on Sunday. 

“One of the reasons I’m excited to be with the Raiders is to join forces with Lynch. We’ll see what happens," Jon Gruden told Insider Scott Bair at the NFL Scouting Combine. “We have to take a look at the entire roster, but I’m counting on him. I’m counting on him being a big part of this football team.”

Lynch, 31, rushed for 891 yards, averaging 4.3 yards per carry, and scored seven touchdowns for the Raiders in 2017. 

New Raiders cornerback supremely confident, 'here to dominate the league'


New Raiders cornerback supremely confident, 'here to dominate the league'

Rashaan Melvin has the supreme confidence of a No. 1 cornerback, with none of the pedigree. Top cover men are often drafted high, paid well or both, with a steady ascent to elite status.

This undrafted talent bounced around the league without job security, trying and often failing to find NFL footing.

Melvin spent time with Tampa Bay, Miami, Baltimore, New England and Miami again before establishing himself in Indianapolis. The Colts gave him a real shot and he took advantage, evolving into the team’s top cornerback. Last year was Melvin’s best, but it didn’t provide a long-term contract despite a bull market for cover men.

Melvin signed a one-year, $6.5 million deal with the Raiders on Friday, the type of prove-it deal that could establish a big payday down this time next year. The 28-year old doesn’t consider that pressure. Melvin knowns another big year's on the way, one that proves he's an elite cornerback

"I’m here to dominate the league," Melvin said Friday in a conference call. "It might be time for some new faces at the cornerback position. That’s my take on that. I’m excited for it.”

Melvin wouldn’t trade his long road for a conventional path, and believes experience both good and bad has prepared him for a pivotal season.

“I’ve been cut four times,” Melvin said. “I’ve been in four different locker rooms, and I was able to gain my teammates’ trust, my coaches’ trust and the organization’s trust as well. My confidence just grows over time. There are not a lot of players that can say they’ve been cut four times and end up in a situation where I’m at today. Like I said, it’s perfect timing. My work ethic, my style of play and the way I approach the game and the way I approach my job, my business, it speaks for itself.”

Melvin’s work ethic is unquestioned. His reputation as a grinder is well documented, especially after establishing himself in Indianapolis. Commitment to a craft has created a player with consistent coverage and ball skills.

Melvin was excellent last year. According to Pro Football Focus, Melvin created an incomplete pass (combining passes defensed and interceptions) on 23.6 percent of his targets.

Passers had a 60.3 passer rating against him in 2017, with just 29 completions for 328 yards on 55 targets. The passer rating was 86.6 in 2016, his only other season as a regular starter.

The Raiders need that type of player on the outside. They’ve had inconsistent cornerback play (that’s being kind) in recent seasons, and are hoping Melvin provides stability at a key position. The Northern Illinois alum has loftier aspirations, individually and as the leader of a young position group.

“The goal is to be the best player I can be, first-team All-Pro,” Melvin said. “I’m going to show my leadership, help these young guys out this year. They have tons of potential to be successful in their own careers. For me coming in here and being the leader and showing that, hey, this is what it takes to be successful in this football league, that’s what I’m willing to do. That’s what I’m willing to bring to the table. On the football field, but outside as well.”

Paying $6.5 million for all that would be a bargain. Melvin’s the key acquisition in a secondary built around 2016 first-round safety Karl Joseph and 2017 first-round cornerback Gareon Conley. This secondary can be solid if those guys can realize potential and Melvin’s a true No. 1 cornerback.

He considers that title appropriate, and is ready to show he’s more that a one-year wonder. The Raiders have great confidence in Melvin, something clear after targeting him early in the free-agent process. Financing’s always a big factor, but Friday’s meeting with head coach Jon Gruden, defensive coordinator Paul Guenther and secondary coach Derrick Ansley convinced Melvin that Oakland’s a proper fit.

“I can relate to these guys,” Melvin said. “They have big plans for me, big plans for the organization. I was born to be a part of something special; that’s happening in Oakland. It was a good thing. We were able to get everything done, a deal done. I’m just excited to be here and I’m excited to see what the future holds for us as a team and me as a player.”