The Raiders were actively negotiating Thursday with running back Marshawn Lynch, who has decided he intends to seek reinstatement to the NFL if he can play in Oakland, league sources told ESPN’s Ed Werder.
Lynch, who retired after the 2015 season, was born and raised in Oakland. The Raiders will play there for at least the next two seasons before moving to Las Vegas.
The Seattle Seahawks still hold Lynch’s contractual rights, but they allowed him to visit the Raiders last week. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported last week that a deal between the Raiders and Lynch “eventually will happen.”
The Raiders can trade with the Seahawks for Lynch’s rights before he’s formally reinstated, a source told Werder. However, Lynch would be required to be fully reinstated as soon as a new contract is executed.
A source told Werder that Lynch and the Raiders are working on a short-term, heavily incentivized contract.
Seahawks general manager John Schneider, asked about the situation during an appearance last week on 710 ESPN Seattle, confirmed that the Seahawks and Raiders have had talks regarding Lynch.
Lynch will turn 31 on April 22. He has rushed for 9,112 yards and 74 touchdowns in 9 NFL seasons, though injury limited him to seven games in 2015, when he averaged 3.8 yards per carry. He last played on Jan. 17, 2016, in a postseason loss to the Carolina Panthers.
The Raiders are in need of a big lead back after Latavius Murray left for the Minnesota Vikings in free agency. Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington, both 5-foot-8, are entering their second seasons. Lynch is 5-foot-11.