‘Beast Mode’ back to ‘The Town’
All-Pro running back Marshawn Lynch has always been ’bout that action.’ And now, he’s bringing that “bizzness” to The Town.
Lynch retired from the NFL after injuries stunted his production in 2015. In seven games, “Beast Mode” carried the ball 111 times for 417 yards (3.8 yards per carry) — each career-lows — and three touchdowns — the second-fewest of his career (2, 2009).
Now, in returning to the game, the Oakland-born, 31-year-old is bringing his game back to the East Bay, signing a two-year $9 million contract with the Oakland Raiders, NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport tweeted. As first reported by Dallas Star-Telegram’s Clarence Hill Jr. in a tweet, Lynch will make the announcement official, following a physical, via autograph signing and block party in Oakland.
For the Raiders, who announced they will move to Las Vegas, uprooting from the 510 for a second time, as early as 2020, the move may be just what was needed to reinvigorate the Oakland fan base. It’s also what general manager Reggie McKenzie and head coach Jack Del Rio needed to fill what may be their largest offensive hole.
After finishing the 2016-17 season with the league’s sixth-most effective rushing attack (120.1 yards per game) the Raiders lost their top toter, Latavius Murray. Following the most productive season of his career, leading the team in carries (195), yards (788) and rushing touchdowns (12), Murray signed a lucrative free agent contract with the Minnesota Vikings.
But even those team-topping numbers are modest for a healthy Lynch.
Since becoming the every-down back of the Seattle Seahawks, the former Cal Bear has topped both the carries and yards totals, averaging 262.2 carries and 1,218.8 yards per season from 2010, when he traded from the Buffalo Bills, until an injury-plagued 2015.
With him still under contract with the Seahawks, the Raiders needed to work out a trade before making the move to add Lynch. In exchange for five-time Pro-Bowler and Seattle’s sixth-round selection in the 2018 NFL draft, Oakland surrendered its fifth-round selection in that same draft.