Tuesday ESPN’s John Clayton predicted that Adrian Peterson’s new deal with the New Orleans Saints would set in motion a compromise between Marshawn Lynch and his own 2017 suitors the Oakland Raiders. If reports by Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo early Wednesday are to be believed, Clayton was correct and Lynch has come to terms.
According to NFL.com, the agreement is for one year and $3 million base pay with a signing bonus and incentives that could reach up to $8.5 million for the former Pro Bowl runner—although Adam Schefter says it’s a two-year contract. To acquire Lynch’s rights, the Raiders agree to trade the Seattle Seahawks a 2018 draft pick, the report says.
UPDATE: The language of the original Rapoport/Garafolo article suggested (plural) picks were involved in the trade, but the wording has since been clarified to signal the trade includes a swap of 2018 picks, as in Seattle will send a late draft pick in exchange for a slightly higher one from Oakland, not multiple picks coming from the Raiders; the Seahawks are getting back a 2018 fifth round pick and sending a 2018 sixth round pick along with Lynch.
Supposedly the only thing remaining to finalize the transaction is Lynch’s physical examination Wednesday in Oakland. However, weeks ago, and really for months, rumors of this same deal have been reported only for the news to be debunked or the arrangement to fall through, but this time everything seems legit—including Lynch’s confirmation.
On Twitter, Lynch posted an image with the words “shit just got REAL” announcing he “had hella fun in Seattle... But I’m really from Oakland doe like really really really from Oakland doe” and asking his followers to breathe their blessings on him.
The two factors apparently advancing the negotiations from the standoff two weeks ago, when Lynch uproariously tweeted to at reporters to keep his business out of their mouths and promised to let us know himself when the news became official, were the draft day deadline set by Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie and the signing by Peterson. Lynch reportedly was asking for more money than Oakland wanted to offer, based in part on his former status as one of the highest-paid backs in the NFL. When Peterson, who was the only tailback paid more per year when Lynch retired, signed for $3.5 million Tuesday, perhaps that lowered the guarantees in Lynch’s asking price as Clayton submitted.
Seahawks fans hoping a Lynch trade would increase John Schneider’s portfolio going into the 2017 draft, which starts Thursday, might be disappointed to learn of the delay in returned picks from Oakland. But the promise of a (perhaps higher?) pick coming later might soften that reaction somewhat, especially since extra 2018 picks can still be in play for possible trades this weekend—at least as much as whatever slight leverage another seventh rounder might have added.
As I’ve said before, even a “finalized” transaction pledges very little certainty when it comes to Marshawn, but if all follows according to plan, Lynch will get to end his career in his hometown and perhaps be a liaison to that community as the Raiders prepare to abandon it for Las Vegas.
Now go breathe on him.