Marshawn Lynch

Raiders Place Marshawn Lynch On IR

The injury Marshawn Lynch suffered will prompt the Raiders to place him on IR, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The Raiders, who traded Amari Cooper earlier on Monday, now have two open roster spots.

It’s more of a core muscle issue than a groin problem, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets. Either way, Lynch will be out of commission for a while.

With Lynch’s contract up at season’s end, it’s certainly possible this move signals he’s played his final game as a Raider. He would be unable to return from IR until Week 16, and at the rate the Raiders are going, they figure to be in contention for the 2019 No. 1 overall pick by then and may not have much use for their starting running back.

However, the Raiders’ Las Vegas stadium is not set to open until at least 2020. Another Oakland season isn’t a lock, but it’s been tentatively assumed the team will stay in the Bay Area next year. This is relevant because of Lynch’s desire to play for the Raiders when they’re in his hometown and not in Vegas, so a re-up could commence in 2019 if Jon Gruden and his affinity for veterans believes Lynch can be productive next season, assuming Lynch wants to continue his career.

Lynch had strong moments this season, mainly a 130-yard game against the Browns in Week 4. He rushed for touchdowns in each of the Raiders’ first three games. He averaged 4.3 yards per carry last season and finished with 891 rushing yards in 15 games, only missing a game because of a suspension. Lynch missed much of his final Seahawks season because of injury.

Doug Martin and Jalen Richard will be the primary backs when the Raiders’ season resumes this week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders’ Marshawn Lynch To Miss Time

Bad news for the Raiders. Running back Marshawn Lynch will miss at least a month because of a groin injury and placement on the injured reserve list is a strong possibility, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com hears (Twitter links). 

Lynch had an MRI scan this week, and the results were not promising. Even with a Week 7 bye, Lynch will be forced to the sidelines for multiple games.

The veteran was having the best season of any Raiders offensive skill player before the injury. The 32-year-old had touchdowns in each of the team’s first three games, though his yards-per-carry average has been below the 4.0 mark in five of his six games.

Lynch has dealt with injuries before, but he’s been largely healthy throughout his 12-season career. Last year, he appeared in 15 games and totaled 891 yards off of 207 carries. And, in two of his best seasons in Seattle, he was on the field for all 16 games and racked up 300+ totes.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Rumors: Trades, Melvin, Lynch

Stability’s been elusive during Jon Gruden‘s first months in Oakland, and Rashaan Melvin found himself as the centerpiece of a recent chapter in a complicated Raiders year. The Raiders limited the free agent addition to just seven snaps Sunday in London, and Melvin expressed his frustration with a reduced role. The Raiders have wanted Melvin to add a new technique to his repertoire, one he wasn’t familiar with during his previous NFL seasons, and internally prefer mid-offseason pickup Daryl Worley to Melvin, Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal notes. After a more diplomatic response Sunday, Melvin tweeted, “I’m done trying to change my style. It’s not me. Back to what I know and what got me here!!” Gruden then used another opportunity to take issue with one of his players through the press.

Melvin is on his seventh team. Maybe he is confused about what technique he is using,” Gruden said Tuesday, via Vic Vafur of The Athletic (on Twitter). “He is frustrated. I can’t blame him. … He is a good kid.”

Melvin signed a one-year, $5.5MM contract with the Raiders after delivering a strong season, prior to an injury, in 2017. Like most aspects of the 2018 Raiders, Melvin’s contract year is not going well. Projected starting corners Melvin and Gareon Conley are now on the bench.

Here’s the latest out of Oakland:

  • Trade rumors continue to hit Reggie McKenzie-era draft picks, with Amari Cooper, Karl Joseph and even Derek Carr surfacing in them. Although Carr’s status appears secure in 2018, Charles Robinson of Yahoo.com writes some NFL execs are receiving the impression no other non-rookie Raider is untouchable at this year’s trade deadline. While little’s going right for the Raiders, they do have a solid offensive line interior (Kelechi Osemele, Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson) and have proven pass rusher Bruce Irvin. All arrived under McKenzie’s watch and helped lead Oakland to a 12-4 2016 season. Cooper’s availability stems from the Raiders, like they were with Khalil Mack, appearing unready to authorize a top-market second contract, per Robinson. It’s a tough time for a franchise that’s endured many of them this century.
  • Marshawn Lynch is one Raider who’s having a decent season, but his campaign may need to be paused. The 32-year-old back is battling a groin strain, and Gruden is concerned this could be a long-term problem (Twitter link via Tafur). Lynch is receiving medical input on the issue this week. Lynch scored touchdowns during the first three games of the season but has averaged fewer than four yards per carry in five of his six games. He rushed for 45 yards on 13 carries in London. The Raiders exercised their post-London bye option, so Lynch has additional time to recover.
  • Having cut Derrick Johnson earlier Tuesday, the Raiders worked out former Broncos linebacker Corey Nelson, veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer tweets. Nelson’s been on the workout circuit for a bit now and hasn’t been able to stick on a team since his Broncos rookie contract expired.

This Date In NFL Transactions History: Bills Trade Marshawn Lynch To Seahawks

On this date in 2010, the Bills and Seahawks pulled off a blockbuster midseason trade. For the price of a 2011 fourth-round pick and a conditional 2012 draft pick, the Bills said farewell to Marshawn Lynch.

Lynch’s tenure in Buffalo altered between jaw-dropping and headache-inducing for the front office. The running back topped 1,000 yards in each of his first two NFL seasons and earned his first career Pro Bowl nod in 2008. Meanwhile, his off-the-field trouble was cause for concern. In the summer of 2008, Lynch admitted to striking a female pedestrian with his car and leaving the scene. In the following spring, Los Angeles cops found a semiautomatic handgun in his car.

The former first-round pick seemed to be back on track early in the 2010 season, having just wrestled the starting job back from Fred Jackson. Still, the phone lines were open in Buffalo, and Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll pounced on the opportunity to add him to the backfield.

We’re going to bring him in to play a lot,” Carroll said (via the Associated Press). “We’ll wait and see when we get him here, but we’re bringing him in here to play a bunch.” The decision to trade for Lynch ended up working out incredibly well for the Seahawks, as Lynch took his game to a new level in Seattle and became the engine of the offense for their Super Bowl winning team. He went to four Pro Bowls with the Seahawks and was twice named an All-Pro

Lynch ended up announcing his retirement after the 2015 season, but after a year away from the game decided to return. The Seahawks promptly traded him to the Raiders, where Lynch currently plays.

 

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders’ Marshawn Lynch Accepts Pay Cut

Marshawn Lynch is staying put, but on a revised contract. The Raiders running back has agreed to shave the base value of his deal by $500K, bringing him to $5.5MM for the coming year, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter). In exchange for that concession, he is now “practically guaranteed” $4.5MM of that sum, rather than nothing. He can earn up to $9.25MM in total with incentives. 

Lynch received his $1MM roster bonus on Sunday, indicating that he would be a part of the team in 2018. Previously, there was some question about that given the presence of new coach Jon Gruden and the recent signing of Doug Martin to a one-year deal. Had he not accepted the pay cut, it’s possible that Oakland would have moved on from him over the weekend.

Last year, lynch averaged 4.3 yards per carry and scored seven touchdowns. When compares to Martin’s 2.9 yards per carry in each of the last two seasons, one has to imagine that Lynch will have the inside track on being the team’s primary running back. DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard, holdovers from last year’s roster, also remain with the club.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders To Retain Marshawn Lynch

Oakland’s Doug Martin signing was not a precursor to a big shakeup in its backfield. The Raiders are going to retain Marshawn Lynch, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

He will receive his $1MM roster bonus due on Sunday, Rapoport reports, and appears almost certain to return as the team’s feature back.

Lynch signed a two-year deal with the Raiders, with most of the guaranteed money coming to the running back in Year 1. Jon Gruden provided a public challenge to the soon-to-be 32-year-old running back last month, indicating he needed a “full-time Lynch.” It’s looking like Bay Area fans will have a chance to see at least one more season of Lynch suiting up for his hometown team.

Although Lynch was plagued by injuries during his final year with the Seahawks, leading to his retirement/2016 sabbatical, he played in 15 Raiders games last year. He was not allowed to play in all 16 because of a suspension. While Lynch was reportedly a problem for previous Raiders coaches, he’ll have a strong chance to keep his starting job.

He rushed for 891 yards and seven touchdowns last season, with his 4.3 yards per carry eclipsing the 3.8 mark of his final Seattle slate. Lynch, though, came on strong late in the season, rushing for at least 95 yards three times in the Raiders’ final five games after failing to do that previously for the team.

Lynch, Martin, DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard are the top Raiders backs. The latter two are signed to rookie deals but have impressed in spurts in the past. Coming off back-to-back seasons of 2.9 yards per tote, Martin may have to show he’s worthy of another chance with Lynch now being given the green light to stay with Gruden-led team.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: 49ers, Raiders, Richardson

Richard Sherman‘s 49ers tour began with a dinner with Kyle Shanahan on Friday night, and the sides took more formal steps on Saturday. Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee reports Sherman took a physical with the 49ers today and met with more team officials. After undergoing Achilles surgery in November, Sherman underwent a procedure to remove a bone spur in his other heel last month. Barrows notes the soon-to-be 30-year-old cornerback plans to be running at full speed again at some point in April. Sherman plans to be ready to participate in training camp. Sherman may or may not have a Lions visit scheduled.

Here’s the latest from the West divisions as the legal tampering period looms in less than 48 hours.

  • Despite the 49ers pursuing Sherman, Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com does not expect the team to go after Trumaine Johnson. He doesn’t expect the 28-year-old defender, and one who will command big money next week, to fit into the 49ers’ model of aiming for sustained success. San Francisco, though, has more than $70MM in cap space and has a need at corner. Maiocco, though, notes the 49ers are “extremely excited” about 2017 third-rounder Ahkello Witherspoon‘s development. Witherspoon graded as a top-50 Pro Football Focus corner last season in 660 snaps. It looks like he could be one of San Francisco’s starters next season opposite a UFA acquisition.
  • One player Witherspoon may not be guarding twice next year is Paul Richardson. The UFA wide receiver sent out a tweet that certainly makes it look like he won’t be playing for the Seahawks next season. A 2014 second-round pick who didn’t impress much until his contract year, Richardson caught 44 passes for 703 yards and six touchdowns last season and is expected to have a competitive market. And the Seahawks still have Doug Baldwin and Tyler Lockett under contract. However, this wouldn’t be the first time a Seahawks wideout indicated he was likely headed out the door only to return to Seattle. Jermaine Kearse was more declarative about departing the Pacific Northwest in 2016 before re-signing to stay in his home state shortly after.
  • Tom Cable would prefer the Raiders retain Marshawn Lynch for a second season, Scott Bair of CSN Bay Area reports. Oakland’s new offensive line coach, of course, worked with the running back during his peak years. Nothing has been decided on Lynch yet. The soon-to-be 32-year-old back is due a $4MM base salary in 2018 if he remains on the Raiders’ roster. He’s due a $1MM roster bonus on March 18.

West Notes: Sherman, Chiefs, Raiders, 49ers

The Seahawks dangled cornerback Richard Sherman in trade talks at this time a year ago, but given that he’s currently unable to pass a physical after undergoing another procedure on his torn Achilles, Sherman won’t be dealt any time soon, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link). Injured players can’t be traded, and Sherman likely won’t be healthy until training camp. In 2017, Seattle ultimately dropped its asking price for Sherman to a first-round and a mid-round selection, but no deal was ever made. While Sherman may not hit the trade market any time soon, the Seahawks are reportedly shopping veteran defensive lineman Michael Bennett.

  • The Chiefs will retain edge rusher Dee Ford on his 2018 fifth-year option, but given that he’s still recovering from a back injury, they likely didn’t have a choice, as Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Fifth-year options are guaranteed for injury only, so Ford — like Blake Bortles in Jacksonville — would have earned his money whether he was on Kansas City’s roster or not, provided he couldn’t pass a physical before the new league year begins on March 14. Ford, 26, only managed to appear in six games last season, but he managed 10 sacks as recently as 2016. He’ll earn an $8.718MM base salary for the upcoming year.
  • Marshawn Lynch is not a lock to make the Raiders‘ 2018 roster, and for what it’s worth, the veteran running back reportedly became a “problem” for Oakland’s previous coaching staff in 2017, reports Albert Breer of TheMMQB.com (Twitter link). Lynch, who got better from an on-field perspective as last season progressed, is scheduled to earn a $4MM base salary next year, and also has a $1MM roster bonus due by March 3, so the Raiders will likely decide on his future with the club by the weekend.
  • After blocking him from an interview with the Titans earlier this year, the 49ers have promoted DeMeco Ryans from defensive quality coach to inside linebackers coach, according to Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee (Twitter link). Ryans, who enjoyed a decade-long playing career, is well-respected in NFL circles, and 49ers DC Robert Saleh recently claimed Ryans will someday become a head coach. Additionally, San Francisco announced that it has promoted Keena Turner to vice President and senior advisor to the general manager and promoted Ethan Waugh to college scouting director.

Latest On Michael Crabtree, Marshawn Lynch

Recent comments from Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie and coach Jon Gruden have indicated that running back Marshawn Lynch and wide receiver Michael Crabtree will be with the team in 2018. However, nothing has been decided on either front, Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review Journal hears. Marshawn Lynch/Michael Crabtree (vertical)

From a talent perspective, both players would be worthwhile contributors for the Raiders. However, their salaries are an issue. Crabtree is scheduled to earn a $7MM salary with just over $1MM in potential incentives. Lynch, meanwhile, is on the books with a $4MM salary plus up to $4MM in bonuses. Those numbers don’t sit right with the team’s braintrust, which is now headed by new head coach Jon Gruden, and it could result in one or both of the players not being a part of the team this fall.

At minimum, we should get some clarity on Lynch’s situation soon. The veteran is due a $1MM roster bonus on March 18, so the Raiders will have to make a call before that date. With free agency getting underway on March 14, it would behoove Oakland to figure things out for both players in the next two weeks.

Last season, Crabtree posted his worst season as a Raider, managing only 58 reception and 618 yards in 14 games. Lynch, meanwhile, was excellent down the stretch (perhaps as he got into better condition): the 31-year-old averaged 5.17 yards per carry over Oakland’s final five games and scored twice.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC West Notes: Chiefs, Peters, Raiders

Chatter that Marcus Peters may not be long for the Chiefs continues to circulate in league circles, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). That talk figures to pick up next week at the combine, JLC notes, and that could spur action on a deal.

If the Chiefs are serious about dealing the cornerback, now would be the time to do it, opines Mike Florio of PFT. For now, the complete details surrounding Peters’ late-season suspension are unknown, and that’s ideal for the team if they want to unload him. The more time that goes by, the more likely it is that teams will dig in to his locker room behavior and possibly uncover something they don’t like. Peters’ talent is undeniable, but if the Chiefs are unwilling to make a big commitment to him beyond his fifth-year option in 2019, now is the time to act.

How serious are the Chiefs are about moving Peters? That’s not immediately clear, but this is telling: while no one has confirmed to Mike Garafolo or Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (video link) that Peters is on the block, no one has shot down the possibility either.

While we wait to see how things play out with the 25-year-old, here’s more from the AFC West:

  • In a conversation with a fan, Raiders coach Jon Gruden indicated that he wants Marshawn Lynch to be fully committed to his conditioning this year. “We’re not going to have that,” Gruden said (via S.L. Price of The MMQB). “No. I said to him: ‘I need Marshawn Lynch. I don’t need this part-time Lynch. I need full-time Lynch.” Lynch is signed through the 2018 season and with a cap number of $6MM, so there is some speculation as to whether he’ll be a part of Gruden’s second go ’round in Oakland. It sounds like Gruden will be gauging Lynch’s health as the team weighs the decision.
  • Chargers wide receiver Travis Benjamin is scheduled to carry a $7MM cap charge this year and the Bolts could save $4.5MM by cutting him with just $2.5MM in dead money. That may be tempting for L.A., but Eric D. Williams of ESPN.com feels that he is worth the cost. Benjamin has scored nine touchdowns for the Chargers since coming on board in 2016 and his speed opens things up in the short/medium range for Keenan Allen, Antonio Gates, and Hunter Henry. Williams argues that Benjamin’s salary – which puts him No. 29 amongst WRs at the moment – is something the Bolts could live with. That’s reasonable, but it stands to reason that the Chargers could ask the veteran to accept a mild pay cut this offseason.
  • Peter King of The MMQB expects Kirk Cousins to wind up with the Broncos.