NFL rumors: Marshawn Lynch could return to Raiders if team wants him


The Raiders' backfield seems to be full right now, but Oakland's favorite son could be back in the silver and black. 

Though a report surfaced last week that Marshawn Lynch will be retiring, the running back would return to the Raiders if they want him back, Steve Wyche of the NFL Network reported Wednesday.

Lynch, who recently turned 33 years old, is currently a free agent. He looked like the Raiders' best skill-position player before sustaining a season-ending groin injury in Week 6 against the Seahawks. The veteran running back finished his injury-shortened season with 376 yards rushing on 90 carries. He scored three touchdowns.

A league source told NBC Sports California that Lynch has since fully recovered from his injury and would be healthy for football activities. That source also said Lynch would be comfortable with fewer carries than he has had in the past, though the information was given before the Raiders selected Josh Jacobs at No. 24 in the NFL draft and added the now-injured Isaiah Crowell in free agency. 

But is there a spot on the roster for Lynch? The Raiders reportedly will bring back Doug Martin to replace Crowell, who tore his Achilles' tendon on Monday. That move comes in addition to using a first-round pick on Jacobs. 

As of right now, the Raiders' backfield consists of Jacobs, Martin and Jalen Richard, with DeAndre Washington and Chris Warren III competing for a roster spot. 

The Bay Area News Group reports that the Raiders would welcome Lynch back at a certain price, with the understanding that Jacobs will be given an opportunity to be a true every-down feature back. 

[RELATED: Marshawn Lynch to the Hall of Fame?]

This is Marshawn Lynch we're talking about, though. If he does want to play football in 2019 it likely will only be for the Raiders in their last season in Oakland. It could get tough for Jon Gruden to say no to one of the Bay Area's most revered athletes -- especially someone who is still productive -- even with his older age.

After briefly retiring and missing the entire 2016 season, Lynch signed a two-year deal with the Raiders before the 2017 season. He's rushed for 1,267 yards and 10 touchdowns over 21 games for Oakland. 

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