0ALAMEDA (CBS SF / AP) – On the eve of the NFL Draft, retired All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch has been traded to his hometown team — the Oakland Raiders — for a fifth-round draft choice, team officials announced Wednesday.
The Raiders said Lynch passed his physical and has agreed to a restructured two-year contract.
The deal between Raiders and Lynch’s former team — the Seattle Seahawks — sends Lynch and a sixth-round draft choice in 2018 to the Raiders in exchange for Oakland’s fifth-round selection in the 2018 NFL Draft.
In celebration, Lynch took to Twitter to make his announcement to Raiders fans.
Lynch met with the Raiders management on April 6th, fueling rumors that he was ready to return to the league.
Then on April 14th it was widely reported Lynch had reached an agreement with the Raiders on a new contract, but those reports were backtracked later in the day.
Seahawks general manager John Schneider told a Seattle radio station in early April that he had discussed a deal to send Lynch to Oakland with Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie in case Lynch decided to come out of retirement.
“We’ve had dialogue about it,” Schneider told KIRO-AM. “Marshawn is trying to figure things out, the Raiders are trying to figure things out. My understanding is that if he would want to come back and play that it would be for the Raiders and that would be it.”
Lynch retired following the 2015 season.
The Seahawks still hold his rights but would be unlikely to want to pay his $9 million for this year if he decides to comeback.
Schneider told the radio station he did not anticipate any difficulties trading Lynch to Oakland because of his long history with McKenzie, who worked with him for years in Green Bay.
“I think it’s one that will go in a smooth manner because of our relationship,” Schneider told the station. The Raiders have a need for a power running back after losing Latavius Murray in free agency.
Lynch was perhaps the best in the league before he retired. He had double digits in touchdown runs every season from 2011-14, 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 all last season.
Lynch, who turns 31 later this month, averaged 3.8 yards per carry in his limited action in 2015 before retiring. Prior to 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.
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 upcoming move to Las Vegas for the 2020 season.
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