Seattle Seahawks

Seahawks GM: “Dialogue” with Oakland about Lynch return, Sherman trade talks “real”

gbell@thenewstribune.com

AP

“Yes, Lawd!”

Marshawn Lynch was talking about his Beast Mode Production company debuting a new movie about his city.

He could have been talking about his Wednesday.

It was the most promising day yet toward the retired running back’s increasingly apparent desire to un-retire and play for the Raiders.

Lynch reportedly met at Raiders headquarters with that team’s leaders. A movie about him growing up in Oakland is set to premiere in the city, with a public relations release quoting him saying: “It’s a movie, y’all! Yes, Lawd!”

Seahawks general manager John Schneider told Seattle’s KIRO radio that he’s talked to his Oakland counterpart about Lynch returning to the NFL this year — yes, to play for his hometown Raiders.

“We’ve had dialogue about it,” Schneider said, referring to Oakland GM Reggie McKenzie.

McKenzie is a former colleague of Schneider when both were executives with the Green Bay Packers.

“Marshawn’s trying to figure things out. The Raiders are trying to figure things out,” Schneider said. “My understanding is that if he would want to come back and play, than it would be for the Raiders. And that’d be it.”

Also on 710-AM on Wednesday, Schneider kept the Richard Sherman trade-talk train going.

Seattle’s GM said news and rumors of the Seahawks fielding trade offers for their three-time All-Pro cornerback are “real.”

“There’s very much an openness. What you’ve seen lately in the news is real,” Schneider told hosts “Brock and Salk.”

“That’s on both sides.”

Asked about Sherman’s fiery 2016 on the sidelines with coaches during games, and with the local media by last season’s end, Schneider said: “It’s just open communication. He knows what’s going on. We know what’s going on.

“I don’t know if anything would ever happen,” Schneider said. “But like I tell people all the time, 98 percent of the deals that we’re involved with we don’t follow through with. But at least we’ve opened that door, gone down the road and seen what’s behind Door A or Door B.”

The GM said such inquiries began in earnest at the league’s annual scouting combine in Indianapolis over the first days of March.

“Absolutely. This isn’t a secret like this just came out of nowhere,” Schneider told 710-AM. “People find things out and we’re not going to lie to each other and we’re not going to BS each other. It’s going to be all laid out. And like I said, that doesn’t happen everywhere. We have open lines of communication between our coaching staff and our player personnel staff.

Retired NFL punter Pat McAfee, writing for Barstool Sports — hey, it’s about Lynch, of course, it’s, um ... different — was the first to break the news that Lynch was inside Raiders headquarters in Alameda, California, on Wednesday.

Before he could play for the Raiders, Lynch must formally apply to the NFL for reinstatement from retirement. There’s no evidence he has done that.

Lynch turns 31 in two weeks. If he does step one, the second and decisive move would be on the Seahawks.

Seattle has retained Lynch’s contract rights while he’s been on its reserve/retired list, under the contract extension he signed before the 2015 season. A charge of $9 million would come back onto Seattle’s salary cap for 2017 should the NFL reinstate him. The cap charge — plus from the Raiders’ end, the fact Lynch will be 31 and not having played a full season since 2014 — make a trade hard to pull off. Even a deal for a late-round draft choice.

The Seahawks have zero interest or ability to carry Lynch on their salary cap for this year. As the signing last month of free-agent running back Eddie Lacy underlined, Seattle has moved on from “Beast Mode” to “Past-Tense Mode.”

The Seahawks are more likely to release Lynch. That would be, for Lynch and the Raiders, the easier scenario. Oakland could sign him to whatever short-term, low-risk deal it can strike.

Either way, Schneider told 710-AM that his friendship with McKenzie from their Green Bay days would make a move of Lynch from retired Seahawk to homecoming Raider more possible perhaps than a deal with any other team.

“Yeah, I have a great relationship with Reggie McKenzie. … I shared an office with him for, probably, eight years,” Schneider said.

But, again, there’s no evidence Lynch has even asked the league for reinstatement. Not yet. Until that happens, nothing else will. Or can.

Nothing, that is, except Lynch staying in the news.

Gregg Bell: @gbellseattle

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