The Marshawn Lynch-to-the-Raiders story has taken so many twists and turns, it’s difficult to tell where it stands.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the holdup right now is money:
Marshawn Lynch's Seattle deal would pay him $9 mi in 2017. Raiders want to pay him 1/3 that while Lynch is balking at taking less than half.
— Vic Tafur (@VicTafur) April 21, 2017
CBS Sports’ John Breech breaks down the situation further:
Once Lynch officially comes out of retirement, he’ll be scheduled to make $9 million in base salary for the upcoming season. Apparently, Beast Mode doesn’t expect to make that full amount, but he does expect the Raiders to pay him at least half of that ($4.5 million). The problem for Lynch is that the Raiders don’t want to pay him a dime more than $3 million, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Basically, the teams are at a $1.5 million impasse, and they have less than a week to figure things out. The deal is expected to include a lot of incentives, meaning it’s possible Lynch would be willing to take less than $4.5 million in base pay if he’s able to make that up in bonus money for hitting certain rushing numbers during the season.
Jon Beason and Nick Kostos also recently discussed the drama:
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said Friday that if the team was going to get a deal done with Lynch that he’d like to get it done before the NFL Draft on April 27:
The San Jose Mercury News reports Lynch wants this to get done:
A deal between Lynch and the Raiders seems eminent. On the one hand, Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said Lynch is “excited to play for the Raiders.” On the other, rumors were floated that the Raiders could walk away.
NFL analyst Mark Schlereth says the Raiders should want to get it done, too:
— mark schlereth (@markschlereth) April 23, 2017
Breech says part of the problem is Lynch’s age. Happy birthday, Marshawn!
It's @MoneyLynch's birthday!
— NFL (@NFL) April 22, 2017
If you’re wondering why the Raiders might be balking at paying Lynch $4.5 million, it’s likely because running backs at his age just aren’t very productive. Beast Mode turned 31 on April 22 (Happy birthday, Marshawn! Please send Marshawn Skittles), which isn’t a great age for NFL running backs. Over the past 25 years, only 10 running backs age 31 or older have hit the 1,000-yard mark in a season, and those 10 running backs combined to do it a total of 12 times. Two of those seasons came from Frank Gore, who hit the 1,000-yard mark in both 2014 and 2016. Before that, no player 31 or older had hit the mark since 2009.
Another issue is that the Raiders have plenty of options at the position, according to The Sporting News’ Marcus DiNitto:
Oakland has two solid running backs on the roster (Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington), there are plenty of backs still available as free agents (Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, LeGarrette Blount), and the draft is deep at the position. One of the players making the draft deep at running back is Joe Mixon, who just settled a lawsuit filed by Amelia Molitor, a woman whose jaw Mixon broke with a punch in July 2014. Despite the incident, the Raiders seem open to drafting the former Oklahoma Sooner. McKenzie said that after Mixon’s visit with the team, the Raiders believe he’s a “really good kid,” per the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
What do you think? Should the Raiders give in and pay Lynch what he wants?