Marshawn Lynch is a Raider. He announced that fact on Twitter in his own unique way Wednesday, completing a month-long process from initial interest to final signature.
The Raiders gave him a new contract and traded Seattle for his rights, allowing the Oakland Tech High grad and Cal alum to come out of retirement and play for his hometown team.
That’s good news for Raiders fans on several fronts. He fills an immediate need at running back created when Latavius Murray left for Minnesota.
It temporarily tempers, though certainly doesn’t extinguish, rage about the Raiders relocating to Las Vegas.
Owner Mark Davis hopes to move his team when a new stadium is complete in 2020.
Lynch won't be there. Lynch won’t represent Vegas. He’s an Oakland Raider, playing for the city he champions at every turn. Lynch regularly gives back to this community and might be its most popular native son right now.
Lynch missed playing football, but he wanted to represent his hometown. That was clear in his tweet. He explained it this way: “I’m really from Oakland doe like really really really from Oakland doe…town bizness breath on me.”
He’ll celebrate joining the Raiders on Thursday with a block party and autograph signing in Oakland.
Lynch will give East Bay fans something to cheer for that won’t be shipping off to Vegas in a few years.
Nothing can cure the pain of an NFL team leaving Oakland a second time. Wins are ibuprofen, giving short-term relief to an ailing fan local base. He can certainly help the Raiders provide that.
The Silver and Black needed a big, physical primary rusher to pair with elusive, yet smaller backs Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington.
Lynch is that guy. There’s no question he’s a football fit.
Lynch is a strong interior rusher from several different formations. He could run well behind fullback Jamize Olawale, as a lone shotgun runner or in jumbo packages with quarterback Derek Carr under center and behind a hulking Raiders offensive line.
While new offensive coordinator Todd Downing will add some wrinkles to an existing scheme, the Raiders employ a versatile system that could suit Lynch’s many strengths.
Lynch ranks among the toughest, most aggressive backs of his generation and one of the best resisting tackles.
He averaged 4.3 yards per carry and 2.8 yards after contact per rushing attempt in his career, according to analytics site Pro Football Focus.
Lynch led the NFL with 245 broken tackles between 2013 and 2016 – 56 more than the next guy -- and he didn’t even play last season, per PFF.
He led the league with an unreal 3.1 yards after per contact in 2014, his last year fully healthy. He played just eight times in 2015 due to an abdominal injury that required surgery.
Lynch is completely healthy after his year travelling the world, doing charity work and expanding his clothing line, but effectiveness is always questioned of running backs over 30. Lynch turned 31 last week. He heads into his 10th season without having been hit in a while, and many believe he can produce like few others his age have in the NFL.
He’ll take the lion’s share of carries in a three-man rotation with Richard and Washington. He reportedly gets an extra $2 million if he's just the second Raider since 2010 to reach 1,000 yards. There’s motivation to push for that and other incentives in the deal. If Lynch is in vintage Beast Mode and fans are happy, the Raiders will gladly pay the extra freight.