Is Marshawn Lynch a better option than all available RBs in free agency?

The list of available free-agent running backs helps explain why the Raiders are interested in retired Seahawk Marshawn Lynch.

The Raiders' reported interest in retired running back Marshawn Lynch is both surprising and, well, not so surprising.

Lynch, who turns 31 in April, hasn't played a down of pro football since the 2015 season. His multiple retirement confirmations over the last yearkepthim off the free agency radar for most until Friday, when ESPN reported Oakland is "strongly considering" either trading for the back who remains on theSeahawks' reserve/retired list or signing him as a potential free agent.

The comeback decision ultimately is Lynch's to make. Still in shape and indeed tempted to play again, Lynchreportedly has not asked for his release from Seattle, which technically still has him under contract.

Regardless, the Raiders' interest in Lynch alone begs a couple questions: Why Beast Mode? Why not any of the available free-agent running backs who, you know, are not retired?

MORE: NFL free agency tracker

The easy answer is locality. Lynch, an Oakland native, is considered a Bay-Area legend of sorts. He'd sell tickets (not that the Raiders have an attendance issue), and he'dmake an already-interesting AFC contender that much more interesting.

Yes, the list of available, non-retired, unrestricted free-agentbacks includes names thatwould add flare to Oakland's roster. But it also includes big numbers, and we're not talking about career rushing totals. We're talking about age — the reason most on the list remain unsigned.

And while Lynch isn't young, his year-plus away from grounding and pounding in the NFL and relatively clean injury slate combine to help explain the Raiders' interest.

Here's the list.

— Adrian Peterson

Age: 31

Career stats: 2,418 carries | 11,747 yards | 97 TDs | 4.7yards per carry

Nobody will argue Lynch over Peterson as an all-time NFL rusher, but the former is 13 months younger than the latter and is not coming off a season marred by a knee injury. The 2017 season will be Peterson's 11th in the league.

In the mind of SN's Vinnie Iyer, Peterson, a physicalrunning back whose size is comparable to that of Lynch, makes total sense for the Raiders. In fact, Peterson is the only person on this listwhomakes as much (if not more) sense than Lynch.

STEELE: Why AP must wait


— Jamaal Charles

Age: 30

Career stats: 1,332 carries | 7,260 yards | 43 TDs | 5.5 yards per carry

Charles' status as a future Hall of Famer is about hisonly source of attractionin free agency. He has suffered injuries in each of the last three seasons, and his 2015 ACL tear was bad enough to affect his 2016 season, in which he played just three games.

As for the Raiders, Charles isn't the type of back they need. DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard are on the roster as capable optionsinthe passing game outof the backfield, which at this point is the most (perhaps only) valuable aspectof Charles' game.

— LeGarrette Blount

Age: 30

Career stats:1,168 carries | 5,122 yards | 49 TDs | 4.4 yards per carry

New England's reluctance to re-sign Blount, a key element to its 2016 Super Bowl run, says a lot. But the 240-pound back who's entering his eighth NFL season certainly can still play.

— DeAngelo Williams

Age: 33

Career stats: 1,730 carries | 8,096 yards | 61 TDs | 4.7 yards per carry

Williams is the oldest back on this list, and his retirement before the 2017 season would come as no surprise. The 11-year pro is, however, coming off two productive seasons as Le'Veon Bell's backup in Pittsburgh. His situational running, superb blockingand veteran leadership combine to make him a still-viable option.

— Chris Johnson

Age: 31

Career stats:2,118 carries | 9,537 yards | 55 TDs | 4.5 yards per carry

They say speed is the first attribute to escape with age, and Johnson's career has been defined by just that. The nine-year pro claims he's not ready to retire, though. He wants to reach 10,000 yards (he's at9,537) and wants to win a Super Bowl first.

—RashadJennings

Age: 31

Career stats:930 carries | 3,772 yards | 23 TDs | 4.1 yards per carry

Jennings' production dropped off in 2016, his seventh in the league. He does offer some ability in the passing game out of the backfield.

MORE: Who's best RB in NFL Draft?

— Reggie Bush

Age: 32

Career stats:1,286 carries| 5,490 yards | 36 TDs | 4.3 yards per carry

Bush last season in Buffalo somehow managed to put up more touchdowns (1) than he did rushing yards (-3) on just 12 carries in 13 games. The 2017 season would be his 12th in the NFL.

— Christine Michael

Age: 26

Career stats:254 carries | 1,080 yards | 7 TDs | 4.3 yards per carry

Michael couldn't stick in Green Bay even when the Packers became desperate for help at running back. All nine of his career starts came with the Seahawks, in 2015 and '16.

— Ronnie Hillman

Age: 25

Career stats:493 carries | 1,973 yards | 12 TDs | 4.0 yards per carry

— Tim Hightower

Age: 30

Career stats:752 carries |2,977 yards |32 TDs |4.0 yards per carry

— MattAsiata

Age: 29

​Career stats:361 carries | 1,259 yards | 18 TDs | 3.5 yards per carry

— James Starks

Age: 31

Career stats:618 carries | 2,506 yards | 9 TDs | 4.1 yards per carry

— ​KnileDavis

Age: 25

Career stats:250 carries | 805 yards | 11 TDs | 3.2 yards per carry

— ​JustinForsett

Age: 31

Career stats:820 carries | 3,890 yards | 19 TDs |4.7 yards per carry

— Shaun Draughn

​Age: 29

Career stats:225 carries | 723 yards | 7 TDs | 3.2 yards per carry

— JordanTodman

​Age: 27

Career stats:124 carries | 531 yards | 3 TDs | 4.3 yards per carry

— Dexter McCluster

​Age: 28

Career stats:250 carries | 1,042 yards | 2 TDs | 4.2 yards per carry

— Kenjon Barner

​Age: 27

Career stats:61 carries | 260 yards |2 TDs | 4.3 yards per carry

— Benny Cunningham

Age: 26

Career stats:171 carries | 748 yards | 4 TDs | 4.4 yards per carry

— DenardRobinson

Age: 26

Career stats:263 carries | 1,058 yards | 5 TDs |4.0 yards per carry

— StepfanTaylor

Age: 25

Career stats:120 carries | 393 yards | 1 TD | 3.3 yards per carry

— Cedric Peerman​

Age: 30

Career stats:70 carries | 349 yards | 1 TD | 5.0 yards per carry

— DuJuan Harris

Age: 28

Career stats:145 carries | 590 yards | 2 TDs |4.1 yards per carry

— Khiry Robinson

Age: 27

Career stats:194 carries | 788 yards | 8 TDs | 4.1 yards per carry

— Antone Smith

Age: 31

Career stats:40 carries | 344 yards | 4 TDs | 8.6 yards per carry


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