With the Raiders, not the Seahawks.
Five-time Pro Bowl running back Marshawn Lynch has un-retired and returned to the NFL by signing a two-year contract believed to be worth $8.5 million with his hometown Oakland Raiders. The deal became final with a trade from the Seahawks and a physical he took in the Bay Area on Wednesday.
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Lynch confirmed it by posting on Twitter “It’s time.”
“Yes Lawd 12th man I’m thankful...I had hella fun in Seattle.... But I’m really from Oakland doe like really really really from Oakland doe... town bizzness breath on me” Lynch posted on his Twitter account Wednesday morning, as he arrived at Raiders headquarters for the physical examination to complete the deal.
Included in the video the Raiders released above is Lynch leaving the team’s facility in Alameda, California, still wearing the new Raiders helmet for which he’d been fitted inside.
And who in Seattle is surprised by that?
“Woke up feeling like it was Christmas” Raiders linebacker and former Seahawks teammate Bruce Irvin posted on Twitter, with three grinning-face emojis.
The Seahawks confirmed they sent Lynch, who upon reinstatement to the NFL technically came back onto Seattle’s roster, to the Raiders along with a sixth-round draft choice in 2018 in exchange for Oakland’s fifth-round pick next year.
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie did his pal and Seahawks GM John Schneider a huge favor by agreeing to send Seattle anything more than a bag of kicking tees for Lynch. The 31-year-old who starred at Oakland Tech High School retired 14 1/2 months ago. He hasn’t played a full season since 2014. McKenzie’s trade with his former Green Bay Packers front-office co-worked allows Seattle to wipe from its 2017 salary cap Lynch’s $9 million charge that instantly applied to Seattle as soon as the league reinstated him. That was from the final year of the contract extension Lynch signed with the Seahawks before the 2015 season, which ended up being his last of six he played for them.
The Raiders could have simply waited for the Seahawks to cut Lynch upon his reinstatement to the league and their salary cap, since they were not prepared to carry his charge and weren’t going to this year, anyway, and Oakland could have signed Lynch as a street free agent. Instead, McKenzie gave Schneider a draft pick for his trouble.
The net result of plus $9 million for Lynch being reinstated then minus $9 million for trading him is the Seahawks’ salary cap is no different than it was yesterday.
Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle reported Lynch’s Oakland contract includes a $2 million incentive for him rushing for 1,000 yards in a season. That would mean a base pay of $6.5 million for the two years, unless there are other incentives.
Lynch signed his contract with the Raiders one day after 32-year-old former NFL most valuable player Adrian Peterson got $3.5 million guaranteed for 2017 to be the New Orleans Saints’ new lead runner.
Lynch returned to Oakland from Haiti. That’s where he had been this week helping former Seahawks teammate Cliff Avril build schools the Pro Bowl defensive end pledged with money from sacks Avril had last season.
Another video Avril posted on his Twitter account from Haiti showed he and Lynch running in training mode on a single-track, dirt trail there.
The Seahawks and Raiders will play an exhibition finale in Oakland this summer – not that Avril will be tackling Lynch in that meaningless game.