OAKLAND, Calif. - Marshawn Lynch is coming out of retirement after agreeing on a two-year deal with the Raiders that paved the way for a trade to his hometown team in Oakland.
Lynch passed a physical Wednesday and agreed to a restructured two-year contract. Those were the final steps needed before Seattle could trade his rights along with a 2018 sixth-round pick to the Raiders for a 2018 fifth-rounder.
NFL Network said Lynch would get a $3 million base deal this season, with a chance to make an additional $2 million if he rushes for at least 1,000 yards.
Lynch had been slated to make $9 million this season if he came out of retirement. With Seattle unwilling to pay that amount and Lynch only wanting to play for the Raiders, finalizing a trade was simple once Oakland was able to re-do Lynch's contract.
Lynch also must apply to the NFL for reinstatement from the retired list before he can play with the Raiders.
Lynch retired following the 2015 season but decided he wanted to come back and play with his hometown team. The Raiders met with him early this month to gauge his interest and wanted to get a deal done before the draft.
The Raiders have a need for a power running back after losing Latavius Murray in free agency. Second-year backs Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington are both smaller backs and are not as suited to short-yardage and goal-line situations.
"Marshawn is one of the best running backs I've ever played against in my short career so far," Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack said last week. "It would be a great, great, great treat to have him on this side, on the dark side."
Lynch was perhaps the best power back in the league before he retired. He had double digits in touchdown runs every season from 2011 to 2014, and his 51 TDs on the ground are the most in the NFL since 2011 despite playing just seven games in 2015 and being retired last season.
Lynch's 245 broken tackles since the start of the 2013 season are 66 more than any other player in that span, according to Pro Football Focus.
"I think he's the most physical guy I've played against," Mack said. "I remember playing against him, I believe, my second season. They ran a power right at me. I remember that play. You're talking about one of the most physical guys I've played against, running back-wise."
The 31-year-old Lynch averaged 3.8 yards per carry in his limited action in 2015 before retiring. Before that, he was one of the game's top running backs, with more than 1,200 yards rushing in each of the previous four seasons.
His production in Oakland should be helped by running behind a line that had three Pro Bowlers last season in left tackle Donald Penn, left guard Kelechi Osemele and center Rodney Hudson. In his final year with the Seahawks, Lynch averaged just 1.1 yards per carry before contact, the lowest for any back with at least 100 carries, according to Pro Football Focus.
For his career, Lynch has rushed for 9,112 yards and 74 touchdowns.
Lynch was born and raised in Oakland and played college ball nearby at California. He still has strong ties to the area through his Beast Mode company and would be a welcome addition for a fan base still stung by the team's pending move to Las Vegas for the 2020 season.
The Raiders issued the following statement after acquiring Lynch.
The Oakland Raiders have acquired RB Marshawn Lynch via a trade with the Seattle Seahawks, the club announced Wednesday. As part of the trade terms, the Raiders will receive Lynch and a sixth-round draft choice in 2018 in exchange for Oakland's fifth-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft.
Lynch joins the Raiders after nine seasons with the Seattle Seahawks and Buffalo Bills. Over his career, Lynch has been selected to five Pro Bowls and two Associated Press All-Pro teams, while helping his teams to two Super Bowl appearances and one Super Bowl title. His career totals include 127 games played with 114 starts, rushing for 9,112 yards on 2,144 carries (4.3 avg.) with 74 touchdowns, and 252 receptions for 1,979 yards with nine touchdowns. In 11 career postseason games, Lynch recorded 937 rushing yards on 193 attempts with nine touchdowns. Lynch's 51 rushing touchdowns since 2011 still rank first across the NFL despite not playing in 2016.
In five-plus seasons with the Seahawks, the Oakland, Calif., native was named to four Pro Bowls from 2011-14. From 2011-14, he led the NFL with 56 total touchdowns and was named to the Associated Press All-Pro First Team in 2012 and All-Pro Second Team in 2014. In 2012, he posted his best statistical season to date, setting career highs in carries (315), rushing yards (1,590), rushing average (5.0), 100-yard games (10) and total yards from scrimmage (1,786) to go along with 12 total touchdowns.
After being selected by the Bills in the first round (12th overall) of the 2007 NFL Draft, he played in 45 games with 37 starts in three-plus seasons with the club. He was named to the Pro Football Writers of America's All-Rookie Team in 2007 and earned his first Pro Bowl honor in 2008 after becoming the first running back in franchise history to record 1,000 rushing yards in each of his first two seasons.
After attending Oakland Technical High School, Lynch played three seasons at California (2004-06), leaving ranked second in school history with 3,230 rushing yards in 35 games. In 2005 and 2006, he posted consecutive 1,000-yard rushing seasons and was named the Pac-10 Offensive Player of the Year in 2006.
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