Marshawn Lynch’s return to the NFL after a 20-month absence could be finalized as soon as Wednesday.
The five-time Pro Bowl running back, who retired from the Seattle Seahawks after the 2015 season with one year left on a two-year, $24m contract, is poised to join the Oakland Raiders after the brokering of a trade for Lynch’s rights with his former team.
Mike Garafolo and Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, who were first to report the news of Lynch’s return, said the Seahawks and Raiders will exchange late-round choices in the 2018 draft as compensation for Lynch’s rights.
Lynch, who turns 31 later this month, will join the Raiders on a base salary of $3m for the upcoming season with a potential $2m bonus if he gains 1,000 yards. The max value of the incentive-laden deal is worth a reported $8.5m.
The enigmatic back appeared to confirm the move with a tweet on Wednesday.
Lynch will need to pass a physical with the Raiders before the move is finalized. That was supposed to occur on Tuesday upon Lynch’s return to the Bay Area from a humanitarian trip to Haiti, but he missed his flight and it was subsequently rescheduled for Wednesday.
The Oakland native will join a deep backfield that includes second-year backs Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington – but one in need of a power running back after losing Latavius Murray in free agency.
Lynch, who earned the nickname Beast Mode for his punishing style, has rushed for 51 touchdowns since 2011. That’s the most in the NFL over that span despite playing only seven games in 2015 and sitting out all of last year.
Derek Carr, the Raiders’ two-time Pro Bowl quarterback, offered a warm welcome to Lynch on social media as word of the trade spread.
He will look to bounce back from an injury plagued final season with Seattle when he carried just 111 times for 417 yards and three touchdowns.
Lynch has rushed for 9,112 yards and 74 touchdowns in 10 professional seasons since entering the league as a first-round pick with the Buffalo Bills in 2007.