Report: Raiders nearing agreement with Marshawn Lynch

Report: Raiders nearing agreement with Marshawn Lynch

Marshawn Lynch is closer to becoming a Raider, but he's not there yet. The powerful running back and Oakland native has been speaking with the Raiders about a new contract but player and team have not yet agreed on terms of a new deal.

While a pact hasn't been reached, an expectation remains that he will come out of retirement to play for his hometown team.

The NFL Network reported Friday afternoon that Lynch and the Raiders had agreed to terms, but Lynch pulled the reins on that. Lynch, who rarely speaks publicly, tweeted, "If u kno me you kno my business is my business and if u don't kno me that's a fun fact for ya... when s--t get REAL I'll let you kno!!!!

Reports from NFLN's Ian Rapoport and's Albert Breer also stated that contract talks between Lynch and the Raiders aren't complete. 

Getting Lynch out of retirement and into Silver and Black is a complex process. 

A new deal is required, and would be contingent on the Raiders acquiring his rights from Seattle in trade. He also needs to be reinstated after a year away from the game. 

The Seahawks retained Lynch's rights after he retired following an injury-riddled 2015 season, and recently gave the Raiders permission to work out a new deal. Lynch has two years left on a big-money extension that would kick back in if he comes out of retirement, one neither the Seahawks nor Raiders are willing to pay now. 

Seahawks general manager John Schneider and Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie are friends dating back to their time working in Green Bay, and Schneider told ESPN Radio 710 in Seattle last week that trade talks would go smooth if they began.

The Raiders need a big-bodied bruiser to accent smaller backs Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington, and the soon-to-be 31-year old would certainly fill that void.

Lynch rushed for 9,112 yards and 74 touchdowns in nine seasons, with 1,979 more yards and nine touchdowns as a receiver. He’s known for a powerful, yet elusive rushing style that will fits well with what the Raiders do.

Lynch exceeded 1,200 yards in four straight seasons from 2011-14, and was borderline unstoppable at the end of that run. He had 1,306 yards and an NFL-best 13 touchdowns in 2014, averaging 4.7 yards per carry.

His production dipped in 2015, a season limited by an abdominal injury that required surgery. He averaged just 3.8 yards per carry on 111 rushes in seven games.

Lynch announced his retirement in a tweet shortly after Super Bowl 50, posting a picture on Twitter of shoes hanging on a telephone wire.

He travelled the world, guest-starred on television shows, expanded his Beast Mode clothing line and remained active in the Oakland community during his time away from the game. Grumblings about a possible return started a few weeks back, when he began exploring the prospect of a return.

He only wants to return to play for the Raiders. The Seahawks haven't stood in Lynch’s way. They granted Lynch permission to meet Raiders brass in Alameda on April 5 and allowed his agents to work out a new deal.

Lynch posted a cryptic tweet Thursday evening saying, ‘I’m thankful!!!! Yes Lawd!!!!” It led many, including former teammates to assume Lynch’s return was imminent. We're not there yet, and there isn't pressure to get everything ironed out even with the Raiders offseason program beginning Monday. 

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.”