McKenzie prefers Marshawn Lynch deal done before NFL draft


McKenzie prefers Marshawn Lynch deal done before NFL draft

ALAMEDA -- Marshawn Lynch remains retired, as he has been since the night of Super Bowl 50.

The Raiders have met with the powerful running back and Oakland native. They’ve discussed a new contract. There has been talk, no real action.

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie hopes to see some soon. Within the next week, preferably.

The Raiders need help at running back, and the Raiders would like to know before the NFL draft begins if Lynch will provide it.

“At some point you’d like to know, and prior to the draft is that point,” McKenzie said Friday during a pre-draft press conference. “But our door is open and we’re not shutting the door until that time pretty much. But, who knows after that? We’re not going to ever say never. But the door is still open.”

Lynch talked football during an April 5 visit to team’s Alameda complex, and it seemed clear to the Raiders that he was ready to return to professional football.

“Every indication I got,” Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio said, “was that he was excited to play for the Oakland Raiders.”

That’s just one step in a long process of acquiring the soon-to-be 31-year old’s rights. They belong to the Seattle Seahawks, who have two seasons remaining on a contract that hasn’t tolled since Lynch retired after the 2015 season. He’s scheduled to make $9 million if he unretired, though the Raiders don’t want to pay that freight.

Seattle gave McKenzie permission to re-work Lynch’s deal, but an agreement has not been reached. If it eventually does, the Raiders likely would have to acquire Lynch in trade and then he would have to apply for reinstatement.

“It’s not just one little hurdle,” McKenzie said. “There are a lot of things that have to be done.”

This NFL draft class has several quality running backs who could be selected into the later rounds, but that need is largely negated if Lynch enters the fold with fellow rushers Jalen Richard or DeAndre Washington.

“I would like to have an answer (on Lynch’s status), but it’s not going to be an end-all,” McKenzie said. “If there’s a good back that we like…we’re not going to go out of our way to take a certain big back. We feel good about the young backs we have, we will.

“We’re trying to add impact players and whether it’s Marshawn or whoever, we’re going to do it.”

Raiders sign linebacker with Paul Guenther connection


Raiders sign linebacker with Paul Guenther connection

The Raiders entered this free agency period needing defensive help throughout the depth chart. They signed presumptive starters earlier in this veteran acquisition process, but didn’t stop there.

The Silver and Black have added depth this week especially, signing a key cog in linebacker Emmanuel Lamur on Wednesday afternoon.

Lamur spent the last two years in Minnesota and the previous four in Cincinnati with new Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. Guenther was his position coach from 2012-13 and his DC from 2014-15. He also knows Raiders linebackers coach David Lippincott from the Bengals days

Lamur has primarily been a reserve, but Guenther gave him an opportunity to start in 2014. He had 59 tackles and two interceptions in 13 starts that year as a strongside linebacker.

The Raiders have options at that spot, but no firm starter at this stage if Bruce Irvin plays defensive end full time.

Lamur hasn’t played much defense the last two years, but is known as a quality special teams contributor. The Raiders have signed several of those players in an attempt to improve coverage and returns.

All told, the Raiders have signed 14 unrestricted free agents with a shot to make the 53-man roster since last week began. The roster will turnover significantly in Jon Gruden’s return to the Raiders, and it’s possible he signs more players in coming days.

The Raiders are still looking for upgrades at receiver, and might add another bargain defensive lineman.

Report: Ndamukong Suh calls off meeting with Raiders


Report: Ndamukong Suh calls off meeting with Raiders

Ndamukong Suh won’t meet with the Raiders, after all. The star defensive tackle cut Alameda out of his free-agent tour, according to NFL Network, choosing instead to head home after stops in New Orleans, Tennessee and the L.A. Rams.

NFLN reports that Suh had dinner with Rams coach Sean McVay on Tuesday night, and was due in Oakland the following day. The Rams made a solid impression

Suh is reportedly mulling options from all three aforementioned playoff teams, all of which have more working salary-cap space and other stalwarts along the defensive line.

That’s surely a disappointment for the Raiders, who have had interest in Suh dating back to his last free-agent experience in 2015. The Silver and Black couldn’t afford him then. It seems unlikely they can afford him now, with precious little salary-cap space remaining after being active in free agency’s second wave.

The Raiders also hope to lock Khalil Mack up long-term with a massive extension this offseason.

It’s uncertain at this stage whether player or team cancelled the meeting, or exactly why it was called off. The Raiders could still sign a veteran defensive tackle, and/or acquire one early in the NFL Draft.