Last week retired tailback Marshawn Lynch met with Seattle Seahawks general manager John Schneider in Seahawks headquarters, amidst rumors the Oakland native was contemplating returning to the NFL if he could get make a deal with the Raiders. The timing fueled speculation about whether Lynch and the Seattle front office discussed a possible deal with Oakland, with conflicting reports. Now Field Gulls has obtained a transcript of the conversation, from the same unnamed source who last year provided a recording of Russell Wilson and Doug Baldwin before the season opener.
Lynch: [Bursts into Schneider’s office, arms wide] Schneidster! Schneiderooni! The general maestro!
Schneider: How you doing Big Daddy?
Lynch: You know what it is Lil Pard.
Schneider: I feel you buddy. Trying to sort through these free agents feels like what it must be like to cut through wild pig guts on a mountain.
Lynch: [Mock vomits.]
Schneider: You’ve been eating better since then though I can tell.
Lynch: Thank you for asking about my stomach.
Schneider: You look good.
Lynch: Shit, you do too!
Schneider: Alright, so what’s up man? You trying to squeeze out another donation?
Lynch: Nah haha! You’re off the hook this time. We’re good. But I have been thinking of playing football again.
Schneider: Oh. … But Marshawn … we’ve already—
Lynch: I know I know. Yall already got Beast Mode Jr. and went out and got a Beast à la Mode to go with it. But see I’m not talking about playing with yall.
Lynch: Nothing personal, but I got it all worked out, you see? I live in Oakland, you know, and my community organization is there, right, and the Raiders, like, they don’t have any running backs.
Lynch: So I set it up where they’re ready to trade a draft pick for my rights, and you won’t have to worry about the cap cost or nothing!
Schneider: [Counting on his fingers] What kind of draft pick?
Lynch: Just a seventh rounder. And I know you didn’t sign any of your seventh-round picks last year but, compared to me not playing, at least it’s something. And you could package it with one of those extra thirds and move up into the second, or maybe bundle it with all those thirds and trade up into the top of the first round.
Schneider: Well, I see you’ve given this a sizeable amount of thought. [Thinking] But we’re gonna pass.
Lynch: Why? You know I can just ask for reinstatement and you’ll have to cut me. I’m just trying to help out both sides.
Schneider: I know, Marshawn. But look at my position: You’re a legend around here. I can’t trade you for a seventh round pick. And Oakland with that excellent offensive line. What if you play well? I’d look ridiculous in this city.
Lynch: You’d give me up for free just to make me look like the bad guy?
Schneider: Can’t you at least get them to throw in Austin Howard?
Lynch: I’m telling you, man, they know you have no leverage.
Schneider: Why am I not hearing this from Reggie [McKenzie]?
Lynch: I’m just here so they don’t get fined. Since I’m not a free agent, they can’t negotiate with me till they get the rights, or it would be tampering. So I’ve done this all behind lines.
Schneider: Sorry, Beast. We’re gonna pass.
Lynch: But, John, I’ve already done all the work on the deal. I’ve carried it all this way—to help you out. Help me out!
Schneider: We’re gonna pass.
Lynch: What’s the matter? I’ve brought it right here. Right to your door. You don’t have to do anything else, it’s right on the edge of the, what do you call it, the finish line? Just have to take it one more step.
Lynch: Oh mercy!
Schneider: Shawn, let me ask you this: I understand your loyalty to Oakland, to your kids—
Lynch: Town business born and bred
Schneider: —right, exactly, but why would you show loyalty to a Raiders organization that has shown no loyalty to Oakland itself? Last year they tried to drag the football team to Los Angeles; now they’re on their way to Las Vegas. I mean, what’s in it for your city?
Lynch: They get to see Beast Mode another two, three years! That Vegas stadium on some Barbara Walters shit. Don’t come up till 2020.
Schneider: You’re going to play that long?
Lynch: If I get a feeling to.
Schneider: Well that’s what I’m saying. You want to play pro football? Believe me I won’t stop you. Get to 10,000 yards and get into the Hall of Fame if you can. Maybe we’ll see you in the Super Bowl. But you’re going to be the local face of this team right as it turns its back on its people? On its roots? With your store, with your Fam First Foundation, you could be the voice of the city trying to hold onto the Raiders. Put on the helmet and you’ll be right back to not speaking. You’ll be a target again.
Lynch: I know I’m going to get got. But I’m going to get mine more than I get got, though.
Schneider: How do you mean, big boy?
Lynch: Okay, okay I might as well let you in on it. Look at it this way: I’ve already got a Beast Mode in Seattle; I’ve got a Beast Mode in Oakland. But when Las Vegas got a NFL team, pretty soon might have a NBA team—I mean it’s going to be like a year round Olympics, like a World’s Fair. I put a foothold in Vegas I get Beast Mode Worldwide.
Schneider: So this isn’t really about Oakland at all…
Lynch: Nah it’s about Oakland. But it’s also about Vegas. I’ll always be in Oakland but see I’m a entrepreneur and Vegas is currency. How many athletes get to represent two cities at once? In Oakland I can have a reality show. In Las Vegas I can have a reality show and a lounge show! And I’m not just talking about television; I’m talking about restaurants, hotels, casinos—movies!
Lynch: [Drops script on Schneider’s desk.]
Schneider: “Marshawn’s Eleven”??? [Falls out of his chair.]
Lynch: Best part is, it’s a squad movie, yeah, but it’s a football movie too and you don’t even have to change the name.
Schneider: Is there a part for me?
Lynch: [Thinking] Maybe one of the dealers.
Schneider: Marshawn, you may be a genius, I grant. No one else is always grinding like you. But that’s always been my problem with Las Vegas. How do they get folks to throw all their money away at the casinos, and still expect they can run up a tab at the stores right afterward?
Lynch: That’s what makes it Vegas, baby. There’s no salary cap. It’s all about the action. And I’m fixing to be boss.