Raiders

NFL rumors: Marshawn Lynch to retire for second time in three seasons

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NFL rumors: Marshawn Lynch to retire for second time in three seasons

Marshawn Lynch came out of retirement in 2017 to play for his hometown Oakland Raiders. A specific opportunity coaxed him away from exotic vacations and adventures and back to the grind of preparing for NFL football games. He wanted to play at home before his home team was permanently relocated to Las Vegas.

Asked directly during a rare, always epic press conference with local media whether he missed football while away, his answer was simple and direct.

Nope.

He returned to play in the town that helped raise him, one that he champions at every turn through charitable works.

Lynch won’t make one last ride. ESPN reported Wednesday morning that he plans to retire a second time. There’s no word whether Lynch will make a formal announcement, as he did after Super Bowl 50 by tweeting a photo of shoes hanging over a telephone wire, or if the enigmatic rusher is in fact done play. 

He is physically capable of returning for the team’s final season in Oakland, a source said in March, recovered from groin surgery that cut his 2018 season short.

The door was never fully closed on a possible re-signing in part because owner Mark Davis loves Lynch. So does head coach Jon Gruden. But actions speak louder that sentiment in this business and the Raiders started moving on from the legendary runner this offseason.

They signed Isaiah Crowell in late March to join Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington and Chris Warren III, and are strongly considering running backs high in this week’s NFL draft.

Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock said they wouldn’t make a decision on Lynch until after the draft, but over time that seemed like a hedge in case drafting a runner didn’t work out.

Lynch could eliminate that prospect with his second retirement, ending his Raiders tenure after parts of two seasons. He has 1,502 yards total offense and 10 touchdowns on 332 touches during his time in silver and black, with some iconic moments within. The obvious was him going hyphy on the sideline after a dominant 2017 victory over the New York Jets in his first game in Oakland as a Raider. There also was the long run that helped beat the New York Giants. He was dominant as ever last season, especially in a violent exhibition against Cleveland where he had 130 yards on 20 carries. He suffered a groin injury in a Week 6 loss to Seattle, had surgery to repair it and largely rehabbed on his own.

He just turned 33 years old and the Raiders are trying to get younger at most spots, making it fairly clear the team would move in a different direction.

[RELATED: Gruden reportedly loves Kyler, not Carr as draft nears]

If this is it, Lynch will finish his NFL career with 2,441 rushes for 10,379 yards and 84 touchdowns and 391 receptions for 2,214 yards and nine TDs. He was one of the toughest, most elusive runners of his generation over spells with Buffalo, Seattle and Oakland, especially during his salad days with the Seahawks.

He averaged 4.85 yards per carry in the playoff with nine touchdowns. A 10th likely would’ve secured a second Super Bowl victory for Seattle, but a pass was called instead and the Patriots won at the last minute.

Why NBC Sports' Josh Norris has faith in Josh Jacobs, Raiders' O-line

Why NBC Sports' Josh Norris has faith in Josh Jacobs, Raiders' O-line

Following a bye week for the fantasy outlook is a lot like a box of chocolates ... you don't know what you're going to get.

Josh Jacobs and the Raiders head into Week 7 with a game against the Green Bay Packers. and the first-round draft pick's fantasy value will continue to rise according to NBC Sports analyst Josh Norris.

"Josh Jacobs right now is one -- the best player on the Oakland Raiders' offense, and two -- possibly a top-10 running back in the NFL by season's end," Norris told NBC Sports Bay Area. 

Norris wanted to also give credit to the Raiders' offensive line for how they performed against the Chicago Bears in the 24-21 win in Week 5. 

Despite the off week, Jacobs might continue to be a force to stay away from opposing teams. But if you're a Jacobs' owner, count your blessings.

Even against a tough Packers defense, his rookie campaign cannot be ignored.

[RELATED: Raiders-Packers odds, predictions, lines]

In the last outing for the running back, Jacobs ran for 123 yards with two touchdowns. That Packers D gives up 4.9 yards per carry and has allowed seven rushing touchdowns.

That's amazing news for owners. Start him if you weren't planning on it anyway.

Raiders-Packers odds, predictions: Betting lines, picks for NFL Week 7 game

Raiders-Packers odds, predictions: Betting lines, picks for NFL Week 7 game

The Raiders’ seemingly never-ending road trip continues as Oakland visits the Green Bay Packers for a Week 7 showdown.

Jon Gruden’s team won a physical Week 5 game over former Raiders edge rusher Khalil Mack and the Chicago Bears, 24-21, in London. 

Oakland will be without No. 1 receiver Tyrell Williams, who is dealing with plantar fasciitis. Davante Adams will also be out for Green Bay, leaving both Oakland and Green Bay without their top target.

[RELATED: Why Worley's versatility is key for Raiders vs. Packers]

Line:

Caesars: GB -4.5 (-110)
Consensus: GB -4.5 (-110)
Westgate: GB -4.5  (-110)
Wynn: GB -4.5 (-110)

Here’s how NFL writers around the country see the Raiders-Packers matchup shaking out:

Paul Gutierrez, ESPN: Packers 27, Raiders 21
Rob Demovsky, ESPN: Packers 28, Raiders 24
Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com: Packers 31, Raiders 24
Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk: Packers 21, Raiders 20
Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk: Raiders 24, Packers 23
Vinnie Iyer, Sporting News: Packers 23, Raiders 19