Raiders

Pete Carroll: Marshawn Lynch 'somewhat entertaining' a return to NFL

Pete Carroll: Marshawn Lynch 'somewhat entertaining' a return to NFL

PHOENIX – Pete Carroll met with Marshawn Lynch roughly 10 days ago. The Seattle Seahawks head coach said his former running back did not say he was coming out of retirement.

Lynch, is however, considering the prospect.

“He’s somewhat entertaining the thought of it,” Carroll said Wednesday at the NFL owners meetings. “I can’t tell you how strongly. You’d have to talk to him about that, and that chance ain’t happening.”

Lynch rarely talks to the press, though he has been visible during his year away from the NFL. He guest-starred on television shows, travelled the world, promoted the heck out of Skittles and did significant charity work in his native Oakland.

Lynch retired after the 2015 season and has repeatedly said he’s happy in retirement. Carroll suggests a comeback has entered Lynch’s head, but that doesn’t mean he’s coming back for sure.

The 30-year old is an enigmatic, unpredictable fellow. If he does return, Lynch reportedly only wants to do so with the Raiders.

The Silver and Black need a powerful running back to join a rotation with Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington, and Lynch is versatile enough to produce in the Raiders’ diverse offensive system.

General manager Reggie McKenzie and head coach Jack Del Rio couldn’t comment on Lynch even in retirement, because his rights still belong to the Seahawks. He has two years remaining on a contract he signed before the 2015 season.

Seattle would have a decision to make if Lynch is reinstated. The bruising back would count $9 million against the Seahawks’ salary cap, a number that doesn’t fit into their budget.

They could release him or seek a trade, though Carroll didn’t state the Seahawks plans should Lynch decide to come back.

“I don’t know,” Carroll said. “We’ll talk about that if the time comes.”

The Raiders won’t give up draft picks to get him. Sources says the Silver and Black would strongly consider bringing him to Alameda if he were a free agent, though Lynch would have to work within the Raiders budget as well.

Carroll said Lynch would have to be motivated in a return to play his intense brand of football.

“It depends on how he has approached this offseason,” Carroll said. “The mentality of what it takes to play this game the way that he plays it, he really has to be invested and ready. He goes deep when he plays. Whether or not the burn is still inside him, I couldn’t tell that. I know he was kind of playing with the idea.”

Raider injury report: Jordy Nelson still shelved as Cardinals game gets closer

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Raider injury report: Jordy Nelson still shelved as Cardinals game gets closer

Raiders rookie spotlight: CB Nick Nelson could be long-term answer in the slot

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USA TODAY SPORTS IMAGES

Raiders rookie spotlight: CB Nick Nelson could be long-term answer in the slot

ALAMEDA – There isn’t much to play for in a Raiders season that has started 1-8 with no guarantee that future wins will come.

Significant roster turnover is expected this offseason, with most veterans playing now not expected back.

The Raiders are keeping a close eye on their rookie class, and we’ll do the same. We’ll put the spotlight on one rookie each week as the season carries on and evaluate what they’ve progressed to this point and what strides must be made down the stretch.

This week we’re looking at...

Nick Nelson

Position: Cornerback
Draft slot: No. 110 overall (Fourth round)
School: Wisconsin
Stats: 3 tackles, 4 receptions allowed for 28 yards on 7 targets over three games (61 defensive snaps)

Raw tools: Nelson is strong than you might expect at his listed 5-foot-10, 200 pounds, with an ability to play receivers physical at the line of scrimmage. He can be a tight cover man and a solid tackler, and could be considered a fourth-round steal if he becomes the Raiders’ regular slot cornerback as expected.

Early returns: Nelson was inactive most of the season’s first half. The Raiders slow-played his recovery from surgery to repair a torn meniscus, an injury suffered during a pre-draft workout with the Detroit Lions. His draft stock took a hit, and sent him sliding down draft boards with teams uncertain about how he would rebound to knee surgery. He didn’t anything this spring, but worked his way back to practice and earned increased snaps over the past three weeks.

Where Nelson has improved: Well, his health is the biggest area of improvement. He’s finally 100-percent healthy, in football shape and well versed in coordinator Paul Guenther’s system, and can play free on Sundays. That’s a good sign for the Raiders, who hope he can develop into a defensive staple.

Nelson got a real chance to showcase his skills in last week’s loss to the L.A. Chargers, and played well in coverage and against the run.

“He has some quickness and size and strength to play the nickel position. I think he played 25, close to 30 snaps, something like that. Leon Hall’s snaps were down at the nickel position, but for his debut I thought he played pretty good. I was excited about it.”

What’s next: Nelson should continue taking snaps away from Hall in the slot, as the Raiders figure out what they have in the Wisconsin alum. This is a great opportunity for Nelson to play to his confidence level, which is always high.

The Raiders like tough, physical corners and Nelson must prove he falls in that category to give coaches confidence to make his 2019’s presumptive starter at slot corner.

Quotable: “He probably played the most snaps of the season last week. I thought he did a good job in there. We’ll continue to get him snaps and get him some experience in the slot.” – Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther