Marshawn Lynch isn’t sure whether he’ll return for a 12th NFL season in 2019, but if he does, Jon Gruden says he wants him on the Raiders. When speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Gruden said he’d love to have Beast Mode back in silver and black.
“We’d love to have him back,” Gruden said (Twitter link via Michael Gehlken of the Review-Journal).
Lynch is out of contract, so a new deal would be required in order to keep him in the fold. From the Raiders’ perspective, it only makes sense to hang on to the bruising running back. Fellow veteran Doug Martin is also ticketed for free agency and younger option Jalen Richard will be a restricted free agent. In fact, the Raiders have only two running backs under contract for 2019 in DeAndre Washington and Chris Warren.
Lynch, 33 in April, initially retired back in 2016, but he ended up joining his home-town Raiders on a two-year deal in 2017. His first season in Oakland saw him rush for 891 yards and seven touchdowns, and he had similar production in 2018, rushing for 376 yards and three touchdowns in six games. Unfortunately, the veteran suffered what proved to be a season-ending groin injury in October.
The Raiders’ location in 2019 may also impact Lynch’s decision on whether (and where) to play. There’s still hope for the Raiders to be in Oakland next season, but nothing is final and other options are being explored.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.