Please note that all-important disclaimer: probably. The rumors have been flying for weeks, of course. We at cover32 Seahawks talked about it here in what seems like at least one year ago. Actually not even a month, and thank you Lee Vowell for that article, just one of 6,000 you contributed to this site.
So, the latest: Lynch reportedly started the process to apply for reinstatement to the league today. The Seahawks of course still own the rights to Lynch, and would need to either cut him, trade him, or pay that sweet $9 million cash to Beastmode. No cap room, no backfield room either, not with Eddie Lacy, Thomas Rawls and C.J. Prosise already signed.
The Raiders, courtesy of one of the league’s best general managers in Reggie McKenzie, appear to be ready to bail the Seahawks out. Granted, Seattle isn’t going to get Beastmode value back on this deal, but to be fair, I don’t think Oakland (yes they’re still the Oakland Raiders) is getting Beastmode value either. Seattle will likely settle for a conditional pick – I’d say a 2018 fourth if he makes the roster, a third if he hits performance incentives.
cover32 Exclusive: Check out this interview with former Baltimore Ravens’ WR, LaQuan Williams
2017 NFL Draft: Taking a look at three potential first-round NFL Draft prospects
Around the NFL: Examining Tony Romo’s legacy; a look from start to finish
Seahawks News: Seahawks Can Do Better Than Statues
How do we know this deal is probable? Well, Lynch himself visited the Raiders training facility last week, reportedly meeting with McKenzie to discuss contract options. It’s rumored he also met with Raiders’ coach Jack Del Rio to discuss exactly how Beastmode would fit in with the Silver and Black. Off the field, it seems a simple enough plan. The Raiders have a whopping estimated cap space of $33 million, according to Spotrac. The Seahawks, by the way, have less than $11 million. The Raiders are likely to offer a low guarantee, high incentive package. Lynch doesn’t have the bargaining power, after all. He’s over thirty, hasn’t played since November of 2015, and averaged less than four yards per carry in that injury-shortened season. On the other hand, he’s Beastmode, and Oakland is his town. I’m sure they’ll come to an agreement.
On the field, I expect Lynch to have a decent season. He’ll only show flashes of his old self, but behind the best offensive line in the conference, he’ll have plenty of holes to hit. And with Derek Carr stretching the field, it’s going to be difficult for defenses to cheat on run coverage. Those are two powerful counteractions to Lynch’s age. At the least, I can see Lynch as a first down/short yardage/touchdown vulture. At the most, I can see 1,000 yards, albeit with an low rushing average. Again, with that line and that quarterback, Lynch can be an effective weapon.
What does it mean to the Seahawks? Will 12s wish they still had him? If the Seahawks had the Raiders offensive line, maybe. The Seahawks have a defense instead, by design. But between Lacy, Rawls and Prosise, I think the Seahawks will have a very dangerous and diverse running game, more so than Marshawn provided in his last season in Seattle, more than he could have provided this year.
Again, there is no downside here for Seattle. Let’s remember that the Raiders could just wait for the Seahawks to release Lynch, as they would indeed have to do so. McKenzie would be doing his old friend John Schneider a solid with this one. All 12s should wish Lynch well if he does wear the Silver and Black…
…except, how freaky would it be for the Seahawks and Raiders to face each other in Minnesota this coming January for the title? It’s second and goal at the one…the Raiders trail 27-23…the clock is ticking down…does Carr hand off…or does history sting Beastmode twice? Maybe this won’t be a harmless deal after all.