On Monday, the New Orleans Saints made final contract arrangements with Adrian Peterson, signing the All-Pro running back to a two-year deal that’ll pay him $3.5 million guaranteed. By Peterson signing, it allowed the Saints to pump the brakes on drafting a running back early (though they’re still not precluded from doing so), but also set the market for what an over-30, former great running back could be worth to a team.
Basically, it means we have a better idea of what Marshawn Lynch should be worth to the Oakland Raiders. John Clayton believes this is a fair market for Marshawn, and that he would accept a $3.5 million salary next season.
With Adrian Peterson getting $3.5 million a year, the market is set for Marshawn Lynch. I think he will accept $3.5 million with Raiders.— John Clayton (@ClaytonESPN) April 25, 2017
With John Schneider previously saying that he believes Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie probably want to settle this before the draft, it would seem that all of the pieces are in place but that it needs to be finalized soon. Again, Oakland would not be precluded from still drafting a running back, but it would definitely change their plans if they knew that they had Lynch in the fold for next season. Additionally, it would mean that the Seahawks could potentially get 2017 draft compensation, though it seems more likely that they’ll ask for 2018 draft compensation with conditions.
While the Raiders have seemingly done all the due diligence on Lynch that they need to do, i.e. are comfortable with his physical condition etc., because this process has been going on for weeks, a team would not have the same luxuries with Richard Sherman until the framework of a deal is in place. If Sherman is not traded by Thursday, it seems he won’t be traded at all. Teams are going to want to give Sherman a full diagnosis before giving up high draft picks and beaucoup bucks in exchange for his services. Also, Seattle would probably want to know pre-draft if one of their best players and a starting outside cornerback is no longer on the team. Theoretically they could hold a draft with the assumption that he’ll be gone at some point, but for all intents and purposes, the most likely scenario is that Sherman is either traded before the draft or not at all.
The 2017 NFL Draft starts at 5 PM PST on Thursday.