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Reports: Marshawn Lynch applies for reinstatement (Updates)

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Retired former Seahawks star begins process expected to lead to his playing with another NFL team

Marshawn Lynch Portrait Shoot Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

According to ESPN’s Ed Werder, former Seattle Seahawks tailback Marshawn Lynch has started the procedure of unretiring from pro football:

When Roger Goodell approves Lynch’s reinstatement—and there’s no reason why he wouldn’t (Lynch’s fines are a huge source of revenue for the league)—the veteran’s approximately $9 million contract for 2017 will immediately count against Seattle’s salary cap, intensifying the pressure for John Schneider to trade or release Beast Mode before the NFL Draft in two weeks.

Presumably the destination is the (for now-) Oakland Raiders. Those familiar with the negotiations, and Schneider himself, have said they expect the transaction to go smoothly thanks to the GM’s relationship with Raiders head of football operations Reggie McKenzie. Does that mean the Seahawks end up with an extra draft pick thanks to their mercurial superstar rusher? Oakland currently owns two seventh-round picks, the 242nd and 244th (which was originally Seattle’s pick, traded in the Dewey McDonald deal).

Regardless of whether they bother to compensate the Seahawks, the Raiders will presumably have to strike an agreement to pay Lynch far less than he is owed by Seattle. Werder’s tweet suggests if Lynch doesn’t end up with Oakland, he might join forces with Richard Sherman should the All-Pro cornerback also be traded in the next few weeks. The idea that the running back and the defender might be tied together seems rather loose to some observers, considering how any Sherman trade appears dependent on a convergence of need and available trade capital. Thanks to Sherman’s existing contract and the steep price the Seahawks are asking, Werder’s colleague Mike Clay countered that few potential trade matches for Sherman might also be willing to pay Lynch.

Plus, is Lynch really willing to come out of retirement to play in another city than his hometown? Many questions remain to be answered in both these affairs, but once Lynch’s reinstatement paperwork is finished the next step in the process will be Seattle’s to take.

UPDATE: Conflicting reports from anonymous sources are nothing new in the NFL, and Pro Football Talk has a source saying Lynch hasn’t actually sent a letter to the league office.

Furthermore, Jason La Canfora dismissed news that a trade is imminent. La Canfora indicates the Raiders and Lynch have not worked out a contract, saying the Seahawks are waiting for that agreement to enter trade talks themselves. With so many rumors flying around, it’s not clear exactly what’s happening behind the scenes. But clearly, something is going on, and seems likely to pave the way for Lynch’s return to football next year.