BY Art Thiel 09:09AM 04/26/2017

Lynch, Raiders have deal after Seahawks trade

Back to that action, boss: Former Seahawks star RB Marshawn Lynch passed a physical and will return home to Oakland to play for the Raiders after a tiny compensation deal was reached with Seattle.

Marshawn Lynch (24) will be switching to the dark side of the NFL. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

Marshawn Lynch passed a physical exam Wednesday in Oakland and will join his hometown Raiders. Oakland will swap late-round picks in the 2018 draft with the Seahawks to complete a trade for the 31-year old running back, who signed a two year contract. Both teams confirmed the deal, and Lynch will host a block party Thursday to celebrate his homecoming.

After the 2015 season, Lynch said he was retiring after five spectacular years with the Seahawks, and did take a year off. But he never formally filed his retirement. He apparently decided he had the health, interest and energy to return. But neither he nor the Seahawks expressed interest in having him back in Seattle, where he sometimes privately clashed with coach Pete Carroll.

Lynch, who starred at Cal before being drafted 12th in the first round of the 2007 draft by Buffalo, wanted to come back only to his hometown team. He remained Seahawks property with two years left on his deal. But Seahawks didn’t want to pay his $9 million salary after hiring free agent RB Eddie Lacy to run with the returning Thomas Rawls.

The Raiders are in their final two seasons in Oakland, after which a move to Las Vegas has been approved by the NFL.


In 2018, Seattle will get the Raiders’ fifth-round pick in exchange for the Seahawks’ sixth-round pick. The clubs pushed the deal back a year in case something went wrong so close to the 2017 draft, which begins at 5 p.m. Thursday. The meager compensation was because the Seahawks had no leverage.

The deal was delayed because Lynch missed his Tuesday flight to Oakland from Haiti, where he was helping former Seahawks teammate DE Cliff Avril with his foundation’s work of building schools and homes.


The Raiders stuck to their original plan to pay Lynch a $3 million base salary. They will pay a $2 million bonus if he reaches 1,000 yards rushing. The total value of the deal over two years could reach $16 million, according to reports.

Lynch met with the Raiders April 5 to tell them he wanted to return. The Raiders lost their top running back, Latavius Murray, in free agency. to Minnesota. In the past two seasons, Murray rushed for 1,854 combined yards and 18 touchdowns with 496 receiving yards. The Raiders were 12-4 last season and lost in the first round to Houston after QB Derek Carr was injured.



  • Steed

    His highlights are fun to watch on youtube. Beast Quake 1, of course, but also Beast Quake 2 in AZ. And my favorite, non Beast Quake run was when he took the ball from inside his own end zone in Houston, and somehow ran it all the way out past the 40. Every one of the other 21 guys on the field for that play had to say “he is still going?” at least once during that play. You could see linemen about to stop thinking the play was over, but it wasn’t over so they got back into it

    That was also the game where the Seahawks were getting blasted by the Texans, and Lynch told Russ “you should just take over”. So he did, and they ended up winning.

    Lynch is one of my favorite all time Seahawks for sure. But I still hope he pulls some of his bad attitude stuff in Oakland and causes a huge mess there. He doesn’t know how lucky he was to play in Seattle where they let him do stuff other teams wouldn’t have.

    • art thiel

      Lynch gets away with so much because he plays so hard for his teammates. They all love him because none of them can absorb the punishment he does and come up giggling. The coaches know he’s unique, and can’t argue that he deserves unique treatment.

      And he’s also wise as Yoda. Guys hang on his every word.

  • jafabian

    I go back and forth on my feelings for BeastMode. On one hand his time as a Seahawk was nothing short of amazing. Arguably he’s the best RB in Seahawks history. On the other he never stated anything close to loyalty to the franchise, choosing to market himself rather than supporting the Blue and Green. Even before the infamous goal line pass in the Super Bowl it wasn’t unusual to see him flip off Bevell while on the field if a pass was called. He played only half a season in 2015 supposedly due to injury and pulled out of a playoff game right before kickoff after saying all week he could play, Marshawn always skipped OTA’s in the past. Maybe if he didn’t this injury could have been headed off and treated? The Seahawks gave him a lot of leeway as well as a second chance after his ignominious exit from Buffalo. And now he’s going to an old rival who will be leaving it’s long time home for Las Vegas in two years even though he’s still under contract with the Seahawks.

    Love ya Shawn but not rooting for ya. Especially if you’re ever playing against the Seahawks..

    • art thiel

      If you think about it, nearly every fan base has some mixed feelings about every superstar athlete. Babe Ruth, Ted Williams, Wllie Mays, Barry Bonds, Gary Payton, Lance Armstrong . . . I could go on. Fans want their sports heroes to be near-perfect embodiments of all the virtues and none of the sins of us ordinary folk.

      Lynch has never liked any of his bosses because he’s so anti-authority. He knows that sports franchises are about the money, not the fans, so why should he be different?
      I will say that as far as I know, he has a huge heart for kids and the less well off. Which for me counts more than whether he flipped off Bevell or grabbed his (own) crotch.

      • jafabian

        Exactly why I love the man. Just wish he’d give the Seahawks organization some respect for giving him a second chance. Even when players like Junior and Randy had issues with the M’s they would still give them their due. That’s what I’m talking about.

  • WestCoastBias79

    Wish him the best. I’ll admit it kind of stings that he won’t retire with the Seahawks, the team that allowed him to become Beast Mode, but I don’t begrudge him wanting to play for his hometown team. Just another reminder that we care more about these athletes than they will ever us, and that yes, we root for laundry.

    Kind of happy the Raiders aren’t on the schedule, but if by some twist of fate they end up in a Super Bowl against each other, I may stab my temple if a Marshawn Lynch goal line run wins if for the Silver and Black.

    • art thiel

      Well said. I’m sure many Seahawks fans want to claim him as theirs, but Lynch belongs to the world. Seattle rented him for a good long stretch.

      I’d definitely want to be at media day of a Seahawks-Raiders SB. The circus calliope would deafen the nation.

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  • Ken S.

    I’m so old that I was a Raiders fan many years ago – before the Seahawks era. I still harbor some love for the Silver & Black. I wish Marshawn all the best with the Raiders. It was sad to see him go. At least I’ll be able to watch Lynch once in a while – I still take in a Raider’s game when I can.

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