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.
It’s time. pic.twitter.com/sgIQgZlkVM
— Shawn Lynch (@MoneyLynch) April 26, 2017
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.
— Cliff Avril (@cliffavril) April 20, 2017
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.